December 11, 2018

Failure to Supervise

“Same As Last Year” and Inept Senior Auditors Are Failures of the Audit Industry

The following was written by a second year staff auditor who wishes to remain nameless. Clearly pounded out in the heat of frustration and perhaps a tad profanity-laden, it exposes a very serious problem that infects all corners of auditing from so-called "expert" auditors on down to brand new staff. Fresh-faced youngsters are often tasked […]

While They Were at It, The PCAOB Thought They Might Chime in on Auditors’ Babysitting Skills

As we mentioned late yesterday, the PCAOB has been working hard these days. Late nights, weekends, ordering in and whathaveyou. Adrienne told you about the new eight auditing standards that you’re all expected to have memorized by Labor Day, and we wrapped up with Dan Goelzer snagging QOTD for the Board’s move towards open enforcement proceedings. This move will, presumably, be used in order to shame the pants off of those of you that dare to break the rules.

But the Board had one more thing to serve up yesterday and that was to put it out there that they don’t think too highly of the job auditors are doing supervising the worker bees:

“Through its inspections and investigations, the PCAOB has observed that supervision processes within firms are frequently not as robust as they should be, and that supervisory responsibilities are often not as clearly assigned as they should be,” said PCAOB Acting Chairman Daniel L. Goelzer. “Today’s Release seeks to highlight the Board’s views on the scope for using the authority provided in the Act to address those problems.”

For an industry that depends so heavily on a hierarchal structure, this does not bode well. There are several possible scenarios that led the PCAOB to jump in with their thoughts, including but not limited to:

1. Dozens of audit engagements of publicly traded companies have aloof partners that pop in once or twice a week, observe a handful of staff people feverishly ticking and tying, only to assume everything appears a-okay.

2. The PCAOB has incredible “luck” picking the biggest shitshow engagements.

3. The PCAOB is just blowing the shortage of experienced SAs out of the water.

4. Inspectors don’t buy the “we got this” story from the A1 and A2 running an accelerated filer engagement.

If you’re on one of these free-for-all audits, for crying out loud, get in touch. We want details.

PCAOB Issues Release on Failure to Supervise [PCAOB]