Remarks as prepared for delivery
Good morning. Thank you for joining us today as we further advance our standard setting agenda.
High quality auditing standards are the foundation of high-quality auditing, and I am pleased to support staff’s recommendation before us today.
Today’s proposal reinforces the essential role auditors play in our financial reporting eco-system, protecting investors through objective and independent assessment of management’s financial reporting and internal controls.
Today’s proposal also addresses core principles and responsibilities of the auditor, including reasonable assurance, due professional care, professional skepticism, independence, competence, and professional judgment. These principles are hallmarks of the auditing profession and are fundamental to the performance of high-quality audits.
While these foundational principles and responsibilities are covered in our existing standards, today’s proposal reframes them in a more concise presentation, eliminates outdated and inconsistent language and incorporates updates for changes in the auditing environment; thereby making our standards more relevant and easier to read, understand and apply.
Today’s proposal also emphasizes the lead engagement partner’s responsibility to exercise due professional care in supervising and reviewing the audit. While not intended to change existing requirements, I am interested on whether and how the reframed requirements might impact the nature, timing, and extent of lead partner engagement on audits, especially audits of more complex entities with multiple business units or spanning multiple geographies.
I am also interested in the feasibility of the proposed accelerated audit documentation completion date, especially for smaller firms.
Please provide us with your perspectives as your input is important to our deliberations.
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, Jessica Watts, Dominika Taraszkiewicz, Ekaterina Dizna, Akiko Upchurch, and Hunter Jones in the Office of the Chief Auditor; Mike Gurbutt, Dylan Rassier, and John Cook in the Office of Economic and Risk Analysis; and Vince Meehan, Katie Reilly, and Connor Raso in the Office of the General Counsel.
I also thank Chair Williams and my other 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.