PCAOB rules for disclosing the name of the engagement partner and information about other firms participating in audits have been approved by the SEC.
Under the new rules, which the PCAOB adopted in December, audit firms are required to file a new Form AP with the PCAOB. On the form, firms will be required to include:
- The name of the engagement partner for all public company audits issued on or after Jan. 31, 2017.
- Information about other firms participating in the audit for all public company audits issued on or after June 30, 2017. This will include the names, locations, and extent of participation of other accounting firms that took part in the audit, if their work constituted 5% or more of total audit hours. It also will include the number and aggregate extent of participation of all other accounting firms that took part in the audit whose individual participation was less than 5% of the total audit hours.
Information from Form AP will be available through a searchable database. Users will be able to search the database by engagement partner name, company name, and audit firm name. Searches for the name, location, and extent of participation of other audit firms participating in the audit also will be possible.
The PCAOB plans to release staff guidance and other tools for firms to use as they implement the new rules.