PCAOB Approves Reorganization of Auditing Standards

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board today approved the reorganization of its auditing standards to help users navigate the standards more easily.

The Board adopted amendments to its rules and standards to implement a topical system that integrates the existing interim and PCAOB-issued auditing standards.

"The standards will be organized by topics that generally follow the flow of the audit process, making their use easier and more efficient for auditors," said PCAOB Chairman James R. Doty.

After considering the suggestions from commenters on the original proposal and supplemental request, the Board adopted amendments to reorganize the standards substantially as proposed.

"Moving forward, new auditing standards adopted by the Board will be issued as new or replacement sections and paragraphs within the new structure," said Martin F. Baumann, Chief Auditor and Director of Professional Standards.

Under the reorganization, the individual standards will be grouped into the following topical categories:

  • General Auditing Standards: standards on broad auditing principles, concepts, activities, and communications
  • Audit Procedures: standards for planning and performing audit procedures and for obtaining audit evidence
  • Auditor Reporting: standards for auditors' reports
  • Matters Relating to Filings Under Federal Securities Laws: standards on certain auditor responsibilities relating to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings for securities offerings and reviews of interim financial information
  • Other Matters Associated with Audits: standards for other work performed in conjunction with an audit 

These amendments also remove references to superseded standards and inoperative language and references. They do not impose new requirements on auditors or change the substance of the requirements for performing and reporting on audits under PCAOB standards.

All amendments to PCAOB standards adopted by the Board are submitted to the SEC for approval. The amendments will be effective, subject to SEC approval, as of December 31, 2016. If the amendments are approved, the PCAOB website would be updated for the reorganized standards to allow audit firms to plan, or begin, their transitions to the new numbering system.

The final rule and Board statements from the open meeting will be available on the PCAOB website under Rulemaking Docket No. 040. An archive of the webcast and a podcast of the Board meeting also will be available later on the PCAOB website.