Regarding the nature and extent of OCA's outreach, our focus in the outreach was primarily on improving the current, standard auditor's report considering the auditor's responsibilities today.
Before we began our outreach, we reviewed academic research, surveys, and other publications to inform the structure and nature of our outreach efforts. We also considered the input and advice of our Standing Advisory Group and Investor Advisory Group, as well as activities of other standard-setters and regulators.
We held in-person meetings and conference calls with more than 80 individuals, several of which are with large constituency groups.
Our first area of focus was to obtain investor views. The investors or investor groups represented money managers, asset management funds, pension funds, and wealth management funds, organizations that represent institutional investors, investor advocates, buy and sell-side analysts from some of the largest investment firms, and analysts from the largest credit rating agencies.
Our next area of focus was to obtain views from preparers, audit committee members and auditors.
We also obtained the perspectives of individuals who previously held leadership roles in the accounting profession or at regulatory organizations. Some of these individuals have contributed to several discussions and commissions that have resulted in recommendations regarding improving the auditor's report, such as the American Assembly, Cohen Commission, Panel on Audit Effectiveness, and ACAP.
In our outreach, we sought the participant's views on —
Let me turn to a discussion of the views we obtained from the various participants from our recent outreach starting with investors.
Investors expressed a desire to obtain more information from the auditor in the auditor's report in a number of areas, which I will summarize into 5 key areas —
Overall, preparers generally do not agree that the auditor should provide additional information about the company's financial statements in the auditor's report, although they are somewhat less concerned about providing more information about the audit.
Preparers are concerned about —
While preparers would prefer that any additional disclosures come from them, not from the auditors, preparers said they would be supportive of changes to the auditor's report that are fact-based and not subjective in nature. Changes that are fact-based that they are supporting of including are —
Overall, audit committee members' views are generally consistent with the preparers' views.
Similar to preparers, they are supportive of —
However, audit committee members have expressed concern that —
Overall, auditors' views are generally consistent with the preparers' and audit committee members' views regarding the fact that the auditor should not be the original source for providing additional information about the company or the financial statements. They believe additional information should be fact-based or objective, rather than subjective, and should not obscure the roles of the audit committee, management, and the auditor.
However, auditors are supportive of changes that clarify the language in the auditor's report. Additionally, some auditors have indicated the following as possible areas for change as it relates to the auditor's reporting model.
Overall, auditors are concerned about —
That completes the summary of the input we received on the "content" of the auditor's report
Many other organizations around the globe are revisiting the auditor's reporting model, such as IOSCO, the European Commission, the UK Financial Reporting Council, and the IAASB, reflecting the considerable attention focused on this matter. We've been monitoring these developments and it has informed our outreach efforts, as it will also inform our concept release.
Let me now turn it back over to Marty, where he will discuss areas of possible change to the report and possible challenges raised by outreach participants.