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1. New international framework takes broad look at audit quality   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
A new international framework for audit quality takes a broad look at how the stakeholders in the audit process can work to make audits better.The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) released Tuesday a framework that is designed to encourage auditors, audit clients, audit firms, regulators, and others to increase audit quality in their environments and create more dialogue between them on audit quality.“While responsibility for performing quality audits of financial statements rests with auditors, audit quality is best achieved in an environment where there is support from and appropriate interactions among participants in the financial reporting supply chain,” IAASB Chairman Arnold Schilder said in a news release.The framework:Describes the input, process, and output factors that affect audit quality at the engagement, firm, and national levels.Describes the importance of appropriate interactions between parties in the audit process and how these interactions can improve audit quality and the perception of audit quality.Shows how audit quality can be affected by factors such as laws and regulations; the litigation environment; corporate governance; and the financial reporting framework.“Our hope is to see continued dialogue on the topic, and that active use of the framework by various stakeholders will result in positive actions in the public interest to achieve a continual improvement to audit quality,” James Gunn, the IAASB’s technical director, said in a news release.—Ken Tysiac (ktysiac@aicpa.org) is a JofA senior editor.

2. The scoop on group audits: You may have them, even though you think you don’t   WebExclusive

BY Michael A. Westervelt, CPA
As Vince Lombardi said, “Individual commitment to a group effort—that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” I would add to this that an individual firm’s commitment to group audit considerations makes audit planning work.Simply stated, group audits are audits of financial statements that include the financial information of more than one component.

3. ASB proposes amendments to clarified auditing standard on letters for underwriters   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
The AICPA Auditing Standards Board (ASB) proposed amendments Thursday to AU-C Section 920, Letters for Underwriters and Certain Other Requesting Parties.AU-C Section 920 was issued as part of the ASB’s clarity project and is a redrafting of AU Section 634 of the same title. When the clarified standard was issued, the ASB did not intend to change or expand AU Section 634 in any significant respect.The proposed amendments to AU-C Section 920 are designed to address implementation issues and avoid unintended changes to previous practice.

4. ASB issues clarified auditing standard on using the work of internal auditors   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
With the release of a new auditing standard addressing the external auditor’s responsibilities if using the work of internal auditors, the AICPA Auditing Standards Board has completed the clarity redrafting of its final AU section in AICPA Professional Standards.Developed using International Standard on Auditing 610 (Revised 2013), Using the Work of Internal Auditors, as a base, Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) No.

5. PCAOB extends comment period on engagement partner ID proposal   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
The PCAOB has extended the comment period on its reproposed standard that would require the engagement partner and certain other participants in the audit to be identified in the audit report.The new deadline is March 17; the original deadline was Feb. 3. The board reproposed the amendments in December.

6. ASB exposes additional clarified standards as part of attestation clarity project   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Changes proposed Tuesday by the AICPA Auditing Standards Board (ASB) would restructure the content of several important attestation standards.The ASB has issued a second exposure draft as a result of the attestation clarity project. The exposure draft contains three proposed clarified subject-matter-specific standards.Proposed Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE), Subject-Matter Specific Attestation Standards: Clarification and Recodification, builds on the general attestation standards proposed in the first exposure draft, Proposed SSAE, Attestation Standards: Clarification and Recodification.The new proposal also restructures and would supersede the content in:AT Section 301, Financial Forecasts and Projections;AT Section 401, Reporting on Pro Forma Financial Information; andAT Section 601, Compliance Attestation.The proposal also asks readers to consider whether the revised structure helps them understand and implement the standards.Comments on the proposal are due May 27 and can be submitted to Sharon Macey at smacey@aicpa.org.—Ken Tysiac (ktysiac@aicpa.org) is a JofA senior editor.

7. When the rules and the law no longer agree   CPEDirect

BY Ahava Goldman, CPA, and Thomas A. Ratcliffe, CPA, CGMA, Ph.D.
In 2012, a form required by the New York City Tax Commission left auditors in a quandary. Recent changes to GAAS that revised the wording of the auditor’s report had not been reflected in the form. As a result, the form required auditors to submit a report to the Tax Commission that did not contain the elements and wording that GAAS requires auditors to use.

8. PCAOB approves standards for auditors of broker-dealers   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
The PCAOB on Thursday approved new standards for auditors of brokers and dealers.Two new attestation standards are designed to help protect customer funds by establishing rules for examinations and reviews of compliance information that broker-dealers submit to the SEC.A new auditing standard applies to procedures performed and reporting on supplemental information that brokers and dealers file with the SEC.

9. PCAOB to consider adopting broker-dealer audit standards   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
The PCAOB will meet at 9:30 a.m. Thursday to consider adopting attestation standards for auditors of brokers and dealers.A new standard on auditing supplemental information that accompanies financial statements audited in accordance with PCAOB standards also will be considered. If approved, the new standards for auditors of brokers and dealers will replace the generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS) that currently govern such services.

10. Proposed international standard would change auditor reports   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
International auditor reporting guidelines would change significantly and require more communication from auditors under standards proposed Thursday by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB). The IAASB’s exposure draft includes a new proposed international auditing standard, Communicating Key Audit Matters in the Independent Auditor’s Report, which directs auditors to communicate in their reports matters that, in their professional judgment, were most significant in the audit.
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