Recently implemented federal rules on disclosure of conflict minerals have mandated new audit requirements for some U.S. issuers.
The AICPA Conflict Minerals Resources webpage provides background and other useful information about the use of conflict minerals, which are gold, tantalum, tin, and tungsten.
In addition, new Questions and Answers have been issued to provide nonauthoritative guidance and describe the key similarities and differences between the two services—an examination attestation engagement and a performance audit—that can fulfill the SEC’s mandate of an independent audit of the conflict minerals report.
The mandated conflict minerals disclosure rules are among the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, P.L. 111-203. The SEC’s final rule, passed in August 2012, requires issuers who use those minerals in their manufacturing processes and supply chain—and have determined that those minerals originated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or its neighboring countries—to file a Conflict Minerals Report with the SEC and publish the report on the issuer’s website.
The report must be independently audited in accordance with U.S. Government Auditing Standards (The Yellow Book) and can consist of either an examination attestation engagement or a performance audit.