ASB formally issues deferral of effective dates

By Ken Tysiac

The AICPA Auditing Standards Board (ASB) formally extended the effective dates of seven new auditing standards Friday with the issuance of Statement on Auditing Standards No. 141, Amendment to the Effective Dates of SAS Nos. 134–140.

The ASB concluded that audit firms will be able to proceed with a more thorough and orderly implementation when their challenges with operating during the coronavirus pandemic subside.

The standards primarily relate to significant changes the ASB has made to the auditor’s report to enable enhanced communication to users of the financial statements. The ASB voted on April 20 to defer the effective dates out of a belief that it is in the public interest to:

  • Delay by one year the effective dates of SASs No. 134–140. Substantially all requirements in those standards generally will now take effect for audits of financial statements for periods ending on or after Dec. 15, 2021.
  • Immediately lift the prohibition against early implementation to enable adoption of those standards by firms.

SAS No. 141 became effective upon issuance.

“Effective implementation of auditing standards, especially these involving significant changes to the auditor’s report, is of paramount importance to the public interest,” AICPA Chief Auditor Bob Dohrer, CPA, CGMA, said. “The deferral of the effective dates of these SASs by one year will allow those firms facing the challenges of dealing with COVID-19 pandemic after-effects to focus on effective implementation next year when hopefully the distractions caused by the pandemic will have lessened.”

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

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

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