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Auditing Standard No. 10

Supervision of the Audit Engagement

Effective Date: For audits of fiscal years beginning on or after Dec. 15, 2010

Final Rule: PCAOB Release No. 2010-004

Summary Table of Contents

Introduction

1.     This standard establishes requirements regarding supervision of the audit engagement, including supervising the work of engagement team members.

Objective

2.     The objective of the auditor is to supervise the audit engagement, including supervising the work of engagement team members so that the work is performed as directed and supports the conclusions reached.

Responsibility of the Engagement Partner for Supervision

3.     The engagement partner1/ is responsible for the engagement and its performance. Accordingly, the engagement partner is responsible for proper supervision of the work of engagement team members and for compliance with PCAOB standards, including standards regarding using the work of specialists,2/ other auditors,3/ internal auditors,4/ and others who are involved in testing controls. 5/ Paragraphs 5-6 of this standard describe the nature and extent of supervisory activities necessary for proper supervision of engagement team members.6/

4.     The engagement partner may seek assistance from appropriate engagement team members in fulfilling his or her responsibilities pursuant to this standard. Engagement team members who assist the engagement partner with supervision of the work of other engagement team members also should comply with the requirements in this standard with respect to the supervisory responsibilities assigned to them. 

Supervision of Engagement Team Members

5.      The engagement partner and, as applicable, other engagement team members performing supervisory activities, should:

  1. Inform engagement team members of their responsibilities,7/ including:
    (1) The objectives of the procedures that they are to perform;
    (2) The nature, timing, and extent of procedures they are to perform; and
    (3) Matters that could affect the procedures to be performed or the evaluation of the results of those procedures, including relevant aspects of the company, its environment, and its internal control over financial reporting,8/ and possible accounting and auditing issues;
  2. Direct engagement team members to bring significant accounting and auditing issues arising during the audit to the attention of the engagement partner or other engagement team members performing supervisory activities so they can evaluate those issues and determine that appropriate actions are taken in accordance with PCAOB standards;9/

    Note: In applying due professional care in accordance with AU sec. 230, each engagement team member has a responsibility to bring to the attention of appropriate persons, disagreements or concerns the engagement team member might have with respect to accounting and auditing issues that he or she believes are of significance to the financial statements or the auditor's report regardless of how those disagreements or concerns may have arisen.

  3. Review the work of engagement team members to evaluate whether:
    (1) The work was performed and documented;
    (2) The objectives of the procedures were achieved; and
    (3) The results of the work support the conclusions reached. 10/

6.     To determine the extent of supervision necessary for engagement team members to perform their work as directed and form appropriate conclusions, the engagement partner and other engagement team members performing supervisory activities should take into account:

  1. The nature of the company, including its size and complexity;11/
  2. The nature of the assigned work for each engagement team member, including:
    (1) The procedures to be performed, and
    (2) The controls or accounts and disclosures to be tested;
  3. The risks of material misstatement; and
  4. The knowledge, skill, and ability of each engagement team member.12/

    Note: In accordance with the requirements of paragraph 5 of Auditing Standard No. 13, The Auditor's Responses to the Risks of Material Misstatement, the extent of supervision of engagement team members should be commensurate with the risks of material misstatement. 13/

1/Terms defined in Appendix A, Definitions, are set in boldface type the first time they appear.

2/AU sec. 336, Using the Work of a Specialist.

3/AU sec. 543, Part of Audit Performed by Other Independent Auditors.

4/AU sec. 322, The Auditor's Consideration of the Internal Audit Function in an Audit of Financial Statements.

5/Paragraphs 16-19 of Auditing Standard No. 5, An Audit of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting That Is Integrated with An Audit of Financial Statements.

6/See also paragraph .06 of AU sec. 230, Due Professional Care in the Performance of Work.

7/AU sec. 230.06 and paragraph 5 of Auditing Standard No. 13, The Auditor's Responses to the Risks of Material Misstatement, establish requirements regarding the appropriate assignment of engagement team members.

8/Auditing Standard No. 12, Identifying and Assessing Risks of Material Misstatement, describes the auditor's responsibilities for obtaining an understanding of the company, its environment, and its internal control over financial reporting.

9/See , e.g., paragraph 15 of Auditing Standard No. 9, Audit Planning, paragraph 74 of Auditing Standard No. 12, and paragraphs 20-23 and 35-36 of Auditing Standard No. 14, Evaluating Audit Results.

10/Auditing Standard No. 14 describes the auditor's responsibilities for evaluating the results of the audit, and Auditing Standard No. 3, Audit Documentation, establishes requirements regarding audit documentation.

11/Paragraph 10 of Auditing Standard No. 12.

12/See also paragraph 5.a. of Auditing Standard No. 13 and AU sec. 230.06.

13/Paragraph 5.b. of Auditing Standard No. 13 indicates that the extent of supervision of engagement team members is part of the auditor's overall responses to the risks of material misstatement.

[Effective pursuant to SEC Release No. 34-63606, File No. PCAOB-2010-01 (December 23, 2010)]