The auditing standards board (ASB) issues Statement of Position 03-2, Attest Engagements on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Information (see Official Releases, JofA , Nov.03, page 99). It provides practitioners with performance and reporting guidance for examinations of information about greenhouse gas emissions for a compliance period or about a greenhouse gas emission reduction. Auditors should perform such examination engagements in keeping with chapter 1, “Attest Engagements,” of Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) no. 10, Attestation Standards: Revision and Recodification (AICPA, Professional Standards, AT section 101, vol. 1), as amended. Clients may request such services from their auditors in connection with recording greenhouse gas inventory information with a registry, such as the Chicago Climate Exchange ( www.chicagoclimateexchange.com ), or with trading emission reduction credits. Copies of the SOP (product no. 014937JA) are available at 888-777-7077 or www.cpa2biz.com .
The ASB’s audit issues task force releases an interpretation also of chapter 1, “Attest Engagements,” of SSAE no. 10 ( www.aicpa.org/members/div/auditstd/announce/xbrl_09_16_03_final.htm ). The guidance, “Attest Engagements on Financial Information Included in XBRL Instance Documents,” describes the practitioner’s considerations when he or she has been engaged to examine and report on whether an XBRL instance document (which presents financial information in a format computers can read) accurately reflects certain client financial information. The interpretation provides sample examination reports as well as information on such documents.
The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) adopts rules—subject to SEC approval—relating to inspections of public accounting firms registered with the board as a prerequisite to auditing public companies. ( www.pcaobus.org/pcaob_news_10-07-03a.asp ). These rules would subject registered firms to both regular (scheduled) and special (unscheduled) inspections by the board and would establish a regular inspection timetable consistent with section 104(b)(1) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The board also voted unanimously to propose and issue for public comment a standard for audits of internal controls over financial reporting and a rule that clearly defines auditing terms (www.pcaobus.org/pcaob_news_10-07-03b.asp ).
Also subject to SEC approval, the PCAOB adopted rules governing investigations and adjudications and the process by which registered public accounting firms can withdraw their registration to audit public companies ( www.pcaobus.org/pcaob_news_9-29-03.asp ). The AICPA’s comments on the proposals are at www.pcaobus.org/rules/comments2003-012.pdf .