PCAOB Reproposes Standard on Communications with Audit Committees

The PCAOB on Tuesday reproposed for comment an audit standard, Communications with Audit Committees, and related amendments to PCAOB standards.

Initially, the standard was proposed on March 29, 2010.

According to a PCAOB news release, the reproposed standard is designed to align communications requirements with performance demands in other PCAOB standards, including the risk assessment regulations of Auditing Standards nos. 8-15 that became effective in December 2010.

By reproposing the standard, the PCAOB is providing an opportunity for comment on its application to the audits of brokers and dealers. Congress in July 2010 gave the board oversight over the audits of brokers and dealers registered with the SEC as a result of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Requirements of the proposed standard include:

  • Communicating critical accounting policies and practices directly to the audit committee;
  • Communicating the auditor’s assessment of the quality, not just the acceptability, of the company’s accounting policies; and
  • Informing the audit committee of significant accounting matters on which the auditor has consulted outside the engagement team.

The proposed new auditing standard would supersede PCAOB interim standards AU section 380, Communication With Audit Committees, and AU section 310, Appointment of the Independent Auditor, and would amend other PCAOB standards.

Comments on the reproposed standard are due Feb. 29.

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