September 15, 2019

audit standards

Ex-KPMG Chief to Auditors: You Are All Flirting With Irrelevance

According to a Financial Times article posted today, KPMG UK's former head John Griffith-Jones — who is now a regulator for the UK's Financial Conduct Authority — dropped a bomb at a posh lunch for accountants in London recently. Griffith-Jones verbalized what many of us already know and have been saying for years. FT says […]

PCAOB Sick of Audit Firms Playing Dumb with ICFR Standard

The PCAOB is still chugging along spitting out reports about how sucky the firms are at doing audits, this time releasing their observations from the 2010 inspections of domestic annually inspected firms regarding deficiencies in audits of internal control – which, in fewer words, is a dig at how crappily the firms are testing internal […]

The Clarity Project Clarifies That CPA Exam Candidates Should Clear the Audit Hurdle Soon

While we've all been focused on the desperate tactics of the IASB to shove IFRS down everyone's throats and make it seem way cooler than lame old GAAP, the AICPA Auditing Standards Board (ASB) has been quietly aligning its agenda with that of the International Auditing and Assurance Standard Board (IAASB). Dubbed The Clarity Project, […]

How Soon Will The New PCAOB Pronouncements Be Tested on the CPA Exam?

If you recall, the PCAOB got really busy not too long ago and doubled its audit standards virtually overnight, leading one CPA exam candidate to reach out and ask if this is at all relevant to his exam experience. If you don’t want to read the following and just want the short answer, it’s probably no.

Was wondering if you could do a brief post regarding the new pronouncements issued by the PCAOB earlier this month and when they will become eligible for testing on the exam. I am debating between taking this section and BEC in the next testing window. I’d prefer to take BEC since I don’t really feel like having to do the written portion when that goes into effect next year; however, if it comes down to memorizing a bunch of stuff that wasn’t included in my B—– package and that, I would rather get AUD out of the way. Thanks for your input!!

This is a great question so I’m happy to indulge you, let’s consult the AICPA, shall we? Lucky for all of us, they are very clear when it comes to most testing areas except for those in REG, which can cover both the current and former years’ tax numbers depending on when you take the exam. At least for this area we know for a fact that they will not be testing the new PCAOB audit standards until at least February 5, 2011. So says the AICPA:

Accounting and auditing pronouncements are eligible to be tested on the Uniform CPA Examination in the testing window beginning six months after a pronouncement’s effective date, unless early application is permitted. When early application is permitted, the new pronouncement is eligible to be tested in the window beginning six months after the issuance date. In this case, both the old and new pronouncements may be tested until the old pronouncement is superseded.

For the federal taxation area, the Internal Revenue Code and federal tax regulations in effect six months before the beginning of the current window may be tested.

For all other subjects covered in the Regulation (REG) and Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) sections, materials eligible to be tested include federal laws in the window beginning six months after their effective date, and uniform acts in the window beginning one year after their adoption by a simple majority of the jurisdictions.

So what the hell are they saying? Basically unless they specifically say so – like with FAS 141(r) being tested beginning July 1st, 2009 – new pronouncements, rules and regs will not be tested until 6 – 12 months after date of issuance. Keep in mind CPA exam questions cost a lot in time and effort alone and we just don’t see the BoE leaping head over heel to make new questions from the PCAOB’s latest busywork.

This means you’ve got another 5 months to put off Audit without having to memorize 8 new audit standards but maybe by that time the PCAOB will have another 8 to tack on. They are very busy over there these days, you know.

Somebody Has Been Busy: PCAOB Issues Eight New Audit Standards

Since the PCAOB was only up to Audit Standard 7 last time we checked and seems to take the conservative approach when it comes to issuing new ones, we have to say we were more than shocked to see them almost double their audit standards overnight. Gee, must be serious.


Via the PCAOB:

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board today adopted a suite of eight auditing standards related to the auditor’s assessment of, and response to, risk in an audit.

The suite of risk assessment standards, Auditing Standards No. 8 through No. 15, sets forth requirements that enhance the effectiveness of the auditor’s assessment of, and response toial misstatement in the financial statements.

The risk assessment standards address audit procedures performed throughout the audit, from the initial planning stages through the evaluation of the audit results.

“These new standards are a significant step in promoting sophisticated risk assessment in audits and minimizing the risk that the auditor will fail to detect material misstatements,” said PCAOB Acting Chairman Daniel L. Goelzer. “Identifying risks, and properly planning and performing the audit to address those risks, is essential to promoting investor confidence in audited financial statements.”

What does this mean for auditors? Let’s check them out.

AS No. 8 – Audit Risk. This standard discusses the auditor’s consideration of audit risk in an audit of financial statements as part of an integrated audit or an audit of financial statements only. It describes the components of audit risk and the auditor’s responsibilities for reducing audit risk to an appropriately low level in order to obtain reasonable assurance that the financial statements are free of material misstatement.

AS No. 9 – Audit Planning. This standard establishes requirements regarding planning an audit, including assessing matters that are important to the audit, and establishing an appropriate audit strategy and audit plan.

AS No. 10 – Supervision of the Audit Engagement. This standard sets forth requirements for supervision of the audit engagement, including, in particular, supervising the work of engagement team members. It applies to the engagement partner and to other engagement team members who assist the engagement partner with supervision.

AS No. 11 – Consideration of Materiality in Planning and Performing an Audit. This standard describes the auditor’s responsibilities for consideration of materiality in planning and performing an audit.

AS No. 12 – Identifying and Assessing Risks of Material Misstatement. This standard establishes requirements regarding the process of identifying and assessing risks of material misstatement of the financial statements. The risk assessment process discussed in the standard includes information-gathering procedures to identify risks and an analysis of the identified risks.

AS No. 13 – The Auditor’s Responses to the Risks of Material Misstatement. This standard establishes requirements for responding to the risks of material misstatement in financial statements through the general conduct of the audit and performing audit procedures regarding significant accounts and disclosures.

AS No. 14 – Evaluating Audit Results. This standard establishes requirements regarding the auditor’s evaluation of audit results and determination of whether the auditor has obtained sufficient appropriate audit evidence. The evaluation process set forth in this standard includes, among other things, evaluation of misstatements identified during the audit; the overall presentation of the financial statements, including disclosures; and the potential for management bias in the financial statements.

AS No. 15 – Audit Evidence. This standard explains what constitutes audit evidence and establishes requirements for designing and performing audit procedures to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to support the opinion expressed in the auditor’s report.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love rules and regs as much as the next girl – if not more – but I am of the thought that users of financial statements would be better served not by more rules and regs but by a more comprehensive auditor training program that starts in college. Am I asking too much?

Did we really need clarity on audit evidence? The PCAOB seems to think so and that’s fine, they are well-intentioned in their motive and you can’t fault them for that.