Statement in Support of Releasing for Public Comment the PCAOB’s Proposed Amendments Related to Aspects of Designing and Performing Audit Procedures that Involve Technology-Assisted Analysis of Information in Electronic Form

Remarks as prepared for delivery

I support today’s recommendation to propose for public comment amendments to the PCAOB’s existing standards addressing aspects of audit procedures involving technology-assisted analysis of information in electronic form.

The proposed amendments are an important step in the PCAOB’s ongoing work to ensure our standards evolve and remain fit for purpose in response to the ever-increasing use of new tools and advanced data analytics in audits. 

Today’s proposal, if adopted, would make clear that audit procedures involving data analysis, when appropriately designed and executed, can be an effective and efficient means to obtain sufficient, appropriate audit evidence throughout all stages of the audit, including as part of tests of details. 

The amendments would also reinforce the importance of the auditor evaluating the relevance and reliability of information used in such analyses, whether such information is produced by the company or from external sources.

Such additional clarity and direction would support auditors in further leveraging emerging technologies and analytical techniques, with the potential for more comprehensive and continuous risk assessment and testing, thereby enhancing audit quality and investor protection.

We welcome and encourage your comments on today’s proposal.

Looking ahead, as we have seen with artificial intelligence, advancements in technology happen quickly. It is imperative that we continue to monitor these advancements, including through our Technology Innovation Alliance Working Group, and assess whether we should make further modifications to our standards.

In closing, I would like to recognize and thank all the staff from across the PCAOB’s Divisions and Offices who have contributed to today’s proposal, especially Barb Vanich, Dima Andriyenko, Donna Silknitter, Rob Kol, and Hunter Jones in the Office of the Chief Auditor; Mike Gurbutt, Nick Galunic, Carrie Von Bose, and John Cook in the Office of Economic and Risk Analysis; and James Cappoli, Connor Raso, Vince Meehan, and Katherine Kelly in the Office of the General Counsel.

I also thank Chair Williams and her Office; my fellow Board Members and their staffs; Brent Simer, Katie Driscoll and Lucia Carromba from my team; and the staff from the SEC’s Office of the Chief Accountant for their collaboration and sharing of perspectives on this important project.