PCAOB schedules open meeting on naming audit engagement partners

By Jeff Drew

The PCAOB has scheduled an open meeting to discuss whether to seek public comment on a new plan for identifying the engagement partner for public company audits in the United States.

The meeting, scheduled for June 30 at 10 a.m. ET, will also consider whether to issue for public comment a concept release on a group of potential audit quality indicators.

The PCAOB announced the meeting in a Thursday news release, which came out three days after the board’s chairman, James Doty, said during a speech in Belgium that the PCAOB anticipates seeking public comment on a new form auditors could file identifying themselves as the engagement partner on a specific audit. The PCAOB in 2009 issued a concept release about possibly requiring engagement partners to sign audit reports

That idea was dropped due to relevance and personal liability concerns, which also have proved problematic for a pair of subsequent proposals for naming engagement partners. Now the PCAOB is attempting to address those concerns with the new form (or more, see “PCAOB Has New Plan for Naming Audit Engagement Partners”).

The PCAOB’s proposals, including the new one, also would name other firms that play significant roles in each public audit.

The audit quality indicators to be discussed are “quantitative measures that may provide new insights about how to evaluate the quality of audits,” the PCAOB said in its news release.                                               

The June 30 meeting is open to the public and will take place in the board's meeting room at 1666 K Street NW, Washington, D.C. A webcast via a link on the PCAOB website will be made available the day of the meeting. The meeting also will be available via podcast later in the day.

Jeff Drew ( jdrew@aicpa.org ) is a JofA senior editor.

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