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1. Grant reform increases single-audit threshold, changes audit rules   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
New guidelines unveiled Thursday by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) raise a key threshold for compliance audits of entities that receive federal award money from $500,000 per fiscal year to $750,000 per fiscal year. Among other things, the new rules raise the federal awards threshold that triggers compliance audits currently performed under OMB Circular A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations, which are also referred to as single audits or Circular A-133 audits.

2. PCAOB calls for more care in audits of brokers and dealers   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
The PCAOB is urging auditors of broker-dealers to conduct audits with due professional care and skepticism after PCAOB inspectors identified deficiencies in 57 of the 60 audits of broker-dealers reviewed during the final 10 months of 2012. A report on the PCAOB’s interim inspection program for broker-dealer audits, which was released Monday, said board inspectors reviewed portions of a total of 60 audits conducted by 43 public accounting firms.

3. How to maintain independence when auditing a conflict minerals report   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
An auditor of an SEC issuer’s financial statements is not precluded from performing an independent private-sector audit of that client’s conflict minerals report, according to nonauthoritative guidance prepared by an AICPA task force. Seven new questions and answers the AICPA has issued on its Conflict Minerals Resources webpage provide nonauthoritative guidance on independence issues related to performing—or considering whether to accept an engagement to perform—an independent private-sector audit of a client’s conflict minerals report.

4. AICPA provides guidance on auditing conflict minerals reports   WebExclusive

Recently implemented federal rules on disclosure of conflict minerals have mandated new audit requirements for some U.S. issuers. The AICPA Conflict Minerals Resources webpage provides background and other useful information about the use of conflict minerals, which are gold, tantalum, tin, and tungsten. In addition, new Questions and Answers have been issued to provide nonauthoritative guidance and describe the key similarities and differences between the two services—an examination attestation engagement and a performance audit—that can fulfill the SEC’s mandate of an independent audit of the conflict minerals report.

5. New AICPA not-for-profit guide available   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
A new, greatly enhanced AICPA audit and accounting guide, Not-for-Profit Entities, is available in ebook form. The AICPA Auditing Standards Board (ASB), Financial Reporting Executive Committee (FinREC) and Not-For-Profit Guide Task Force have revised the guide, making significant enhancements to improve user understanding and minimize diversity in practice.

6. PCAOB Proposes Standards for Broker-Dealer Audits and Auditing Supplemental Information   WebExclusive

The PCAOB issued proposed standards for audits of broker-dealer and issuer engagements for public comment Tuesday. The proposals consist of two attestation standards related to the auditor’s examination of compliance reports and review of exemption reports of broker-dealers proposed by the SEC as part of its amendments to the broker-dealer financial reporting rule under Securities Exchange Act of 1934 Rule 17a-5.

7. SEC Proposes Audits of Broker-Dealers' Custody Practices   WebExclusive

The SEC proposed rules that it said would strengthen the annual audits of broker-dealers by requiring an increased focus on their custody activities. Current rules require broker-dealers to protect and account for customer assets. The proposed rule amendments would mandate an audit of those controls. Comments on the proposal are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, which is expected shortly.

8. PCAOB OKs Temporary Rule to Govern Broker-Dealer Audits   WebExclusive

Editor's note: The SEC on Wednesday unanimously proposed amendments to the broker-dealer financial reporting rule designed to strengthen audits of broker-dealers and the SEC’s oversight of the way broker-dealers handle their customers’ securities and cash. For details and a video, go to http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2011/2011-128.htm. The PCAOB on Tuesday adopted a temporary rule to establish an interim inspection program for registered public accounting firms’ audits of securities brokers and dealers as permitted by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

9. Recovery Act Funds Spark Auditing Interpretations   WebExclusive

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the federal government is passing down almost $300 billion in additional funds to governments and nonprofit organizations. Much of the funding is subject to audits under Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations.

10. Obtaining Quality Employee Benefit Plan Audit Services - The Request for Proposal  

Employee benefit plan sponsors and ­administrators can save time selecting an audit firm and evaluating the quality of its services by writing a thorough Request for Proposal (RFP). Consider these tips offered by the AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center: P Provide a brief description of the engagement.
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