PCAOB issues guidance on new Form AP reporting

The engagement partner's name must stay consistent.

Audit firms are required to report the engagement partner's name consistently on all Forms AP filed with the PCAOB, according to new PCAOB staff guidance.

Form AP is the new document that each PCAOB-registered public accounting firm must file under new PCAOB rules.

The PCAOB staff provided implementation guidance for Form AP in a document, Staff Guidance, Form AP, Auditor Reporting of Certain Audit Participants and Related Voluntary Audit Report Disclosure Under AS 3101, Reports on Audited Financial Statements.

Under the guidance, the engagement partner must report his or her name consistently on all Forms AP unless the partner has changed his or her name. The firm also will be required to disclose the partner ID, a unique, 10-digit identifier that will be assigned by the firm to each partner who serves as an engagement partner on public company audits.

If an engagement partner begins performing audits for a new firm, the new firm is required to assign a new partner ID to the individual. If the engagement partner was previously identified on Form AP by a different partner ID, the new firm would be required to report all partner IDs that have been associated with the engagement partner.

Meanwhile, audit firms are required to disclose the names and other information of other accounting firms that contributed 5% or more of the total audit hours in an engagement.

Form AP also requires disclosure of the total number of other accounting firms that contributed less than 5% of total audit hours, and the percentage of total audit hours that all such firms contributed.

The PCAOB subsequently updated the staff guidance to explain that for purposes of determining firm participation in the audit and calculating audit hours, professional employees in a secondment arrangement should be treated as if they were employed by the accounting firm to which they are seconded.

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