ASB to consider one-year deferral of effective dates

By Ken Tysiac

The effective dates for seven recently issued generally accepted auditing standards may be deferred by one year when the AICPA Auditing Standards Board (ASB) holds a special open meeting from 2 to 4 p.m. on April 20 to discuss relief due to the coronavirus pandemic.

At the meeting, the ASB will discuss and vote on a final standard that would defer the effective dates of Statements on Auditing Standards (SASs) No. 134 through 139, as well as SAS No. 140, which is scheduled to be issued later this week.

The current effective dates of the SASs are for audits of financial statements for periods ending on or after Dec. 15, 2020. The ASB will discuss deferring the effective dates for one year so the standards will take effect for audits of financial statements for periods ending on or after Dec. 15, 2021. The prohibition against early implementation of the standards would be lifted so that firms that are prepared to implement the standards this year will be permitted to do so.

The ASB is considering the delay because of a concern that regardless of when the pandemic ends or when social distancing restrictions are lifted, smaller and midsize firms will be struggling to recover. As a result, these firms may not have the time or resources to effectively implement SASs No. 134–140, which, among other things, substantially change the auditor’s report.

Registration for the meeting is expected to open Thursday at the AICPA website.

For more news and reporting on the coronavirus and how CPAs can handle challenges related to the outbreak, visit the JofA’s coronavirus resources page.

Ken Tysiac (Kenneth.Tysiac@aicpa-cima.com) is the JofA’s editorial director.

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