The PCAOB staff issued new guidance for SEC-registered auditors of brokers and dealers as they make the transition to PCAOB standards from the generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS) that previously governed such audits.

The staff guidance, available at, highlights relevant requirements for audits and attestation engagements. It also provides direction on applying PCAOB standards to these engagements, particularly for audits of smaller broker-dealers with operations that are not complex.

“This guidance is tailored to help auditors of smaller broker-dealers develop a cost-effective, scaled approach to their audits,” PCAOB Chairman James Doty said in a news release.

The PCAOB was given oversight authority for audits of brokers and dealers registered with the SEC by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, P.L. 111-203. Rule amendments approved by the SEC in July 2013 required that audits of broker-dealers be conducted in accordance with PCAOB standards.

A new auditing standard and two attestation standards applying to broker-dealer audits were adopted by the PCAOB in October 2013 and approved by the SEC in February 2014.

The new rules take effect for fiscal years ending on or after June 1, 2014.

  The PCAOB and Denmark’s audit regulator entered into a cooperative arrangement for oversight of audit firms in their respective jurisdictions, the PCAOB announced.

A framework for joint inspections is provided in the agreement with the Danish Business Authority. The agreement allows for the exchange of confidential information and includes data protection provisions.

Five of the more than 900 PCAOB-registered audit firms outside the United States are located in Denmark.


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