PCAOB offers new guidance for quality control remediation

By Bryan Strickland

The PCAOB released a new staff report designed to help audit firms remedy quality control issues cited in inspections.

The report features advice for firms facing remediation following findings of quality control criticisms (QCCs) in the inspection process. Firms have 12 months to respond to QCCs. If a firm falls short in the remediation process, the PCAOB publicly discloses its quality control deficiencies.

Currently, a 2006 release explains the PCAOB remediation process, in conjunction with Staff Guidance released in 2013. The staff report released Thursday shares guidance gleaned since the 2013 report as the PCAOB works to determine whether to formally update its Staff Guidance.

The new staff report reviews the PCAOB's 2013 guidance and spotlights seven additional considerations for firms during the QCC remediation process:

  • Repeated or persistent criticisms require a new or enhanced response;
  • The importance of root-cause analysis;
  • How the PCAOB considers subsequent inspection results;
  • How the PCAOB evaluates the design of new or revised guidance, tools, or policies from firms;
  • What the PCAOB considers when evaluating the design of training programs;
  • PCAOB expectations on the timing of remediation design and implementation; and
  • The value of ongoing dialogue.

— To comment on this article or to suggest an idea for another article, contact Bryan Strickland at Bryan.Strickland@aicpa-cima.com.

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