Statement on the Adoption of Interim Auditing Standards

I want to underscore the limited nature of this action. We are calling these requirements interim standards, and the rules implementing them will be denoted by the letter "T" to emphasize that they are temporary. The standards are, in a sense, written in disappearing ink. I do not mean that all of the current auditing standards will necessarily disappear, but today's action is only the beginning, not the end, of the process of reviewing those standards.

Our goal is to keep in place the existing auditing and other professional standards for now so that there will continue to be certainty in the profession and for public companies as to what the rules of the road are in conducting an audit. However, that does not by any means suggest that we have decided that all of the existing standards are appropriate. On the contrary, the Board intends to conduct a review through which we will decide, standard-by-standard, whether or not to make each of the existing standards permanent or whether to modify or repeal it. That is a big job and one that will take time. We want to have an orderly and informed process to do that job, including guidance from our Director of Professional Standards — once appointed — from his or her staff, and from the Board's advisory committee.

It was simply not possible, or even desirable, to try to review existing standards and make informed and sophisticated judgments about them during the Board's start-up phase over the last three and a half months. But, this review will be done, and no one should be confused about that fact.

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