Auditor's Use of the Work of Specialists

(Updated Dec. 11, 2018)

Objective


Strengthen the requirements that apply when auditors use the work of specialists by increasing audit attention in areas where a specialist is used; and aligning the applicable requirements with the PCAOB risk-assessment standards. This project is a companion to the project on auditing accounting estimates, including fair value measurements.

Most Recent Action


Proposed amending AS 1105, Audit Evidence, to add a new appendix that addresses using the work of a company's specialist as audit evidence, based on the risk-based approach of the risk-assessment standards. Also, proposed amending AS 1201, Supervision of the Audit Engagement, to add a new appendix on supervising the work of auditor-employed specialists and replacing AS 1210, Using the Work of a Specialist, with proposed AS 1210, Using the Work of the Auditor-Engaged Specialist, to set forth requirements for using the work of auditor-engaged specialists.

Background


The use of specialists has grown in both frequency and significance as the use of fair value measurements and other accounting estimates has increased. If a specialist's work is not properly overseen or evaluated by the auditor, there may be heightened risk that the auditor's work will not be sufficient to detect a material misstatement in accounting estimates. PCAOB oversight activities indicate that there is diversity in practice regarding the use of the work of specialists.

Status


The PCAOB will hold an open meeting on December 20, 2018 to consider amendments to its standards to strengthen requirements for an auditor's use of the work of specialists in an audit.