Auditor's Use of the Work of Specialists

(Updated May 14, 2020)


What Was Changed?

The amendments adopted by the Board strengthen the requirements for evaluating the work of a company's specialist, whether employed or engaged by the company. They are designed to increase audit attention in areas where a specialist is used and to align the applicable requirements with the PCAOB's risk assessment standards.

The amendments also apply a supervisory approach to both auditor-employed and auditor-engaged specialists. 

The Board amended two existing auditing standards, AS 1105, Audit Evidence, and AS 1201, Supervision of the Audit Engagement. The Board retitled and replaced AS 1210, Using the Work of a Specialist, with a new AS 1210, Using the Work of an Auditor-Engaged Specialist.

Additional information on these amendments: 

Why Did the PCAOB Adopt This Standard?

The use of the work of specialists continues to increase in both frequency and significance. If a specialist's work is not properly overseen or evaluated by the auditor, there may be a heightened risk that the auditor's work will not be sufficient to detect a material misstatement in accounting estimates.

The amendments are also designed to be risk-based and scalable so that the auditor's work to evaluate the specialist's work is commensurate with the risk of material misstatement.

These amendments should lead to more uniformly rigorous practices among audit firms of all sizes and enhance audit quality and the credibility of information provided in financial statements.

What Are the Effective Dates?

The amendments are effective for audits of fiscal years ending on or after December 15, 2020.

Resources and Tools for Implementation

Staff Guidance

The PCAOB staff provides guidance that highlights aspects of new requirements that apply when auditors use the work of specialists in an audit and when an auditor uses the work of a company specialist as audit evidence.

    Staff Presentation (May 2020)

    The PCAOB staff produced a video on the implementation of Auditor’s Use of the Work of Specialists. 

    We welcome your feedback and questions. After you've watched the video, please compete this short survey

    Guide to Accessing Amended Estimates and Specialists Standards (May 2020)

    The PCAOB staff have prepared a Guide to Accessing Amended Estimates and Specialists Standards. This document is intended to assist auditors and others in navigating the PCAOB’s website to access the amended versions of the related PCAOB auditing standards and auditing interpretations. It provides users with an overview of the amended standard and a tutorial on how to navigate to the new standards on the PCAOB website.

    How Do I Contact the PCAOB?

    Phone: (202) 591-4395   
    Form: Contact Us