Consider how AS 2310, The Confirmation Process, should be revised to reflect changes in technology, as well as to align more closely with the PCAOB's risk assessment standards.
Most Recent Action
Adopted a new standard, AS 2310, The Auditor’s Use of Confirmation, together with conforming amendments to PCAOB auditing standards.
In brief, the Board’s new standard:
- Includes more principles-based requirements that are designed to apply to all methods of confirmation, including the use of electronic communications and third-party intermediaries.
- Expressly integrates the requirements for the auditor’s use of confirmation with the requirements of the Board’s risk assessment standards by incorporating certain risk-based considerations and emphasizing the auditor’s responsibility to obtain relevant and reliable audit evidence when using confirmation in an audit.
- Includes a new requirement regarding confirming cash held by third parties, or otherwise obtaining relevant and reliable audit evidence by directly accessing information maintained by a knowledgeable external source.
- Carries forward the existing requirement regarding confirming accounts receivable, while addressing situations where it would not be feasible for the auditor to perform confirmation procedures or obtain relevant and reliable audit evidence for accounts receivable by directly accessing information maintained by a knowledgeable external source.
- States that the use of negative confirmation requests alone does not provide sufficient appropriate audit evidence (and includes examples of situations where the auditor may use negative confirmation requests to supplement other substantive audit procedures).
- Emphasizes the auditor’s responsibility to maintain control over the confirmation process and provides that the auditor is responsible for selecting the items to be confirmed, sending confirmation requests, and receiving confirmation responses.
- Identifies situations in which alternative procedures should be performed by the auditor (and includes examples of such alternative procedures that may provide relevant and reliable audit evidence for a selected item).
The audit confirmation process touches nearly every audit and confirmation has long been used by auditors. Typically, auditors use confirmation in circumstances where reliable evidence about financial statement assertions can be obtained directly from a third party that transacts with the company. The methods auditors use to send and receive confirmations vary, including paper-based and electronic means of communications as well as the use of third-party intermediaries.
On September 28, 2023, the PCAOB adopted a new standard, AS 2310, The Auditor’s Use of Confirmation, and conforming amendments. On December 1, 2023, the new standard and conforming amendments were approved by the SEC. The new standard and conforming amendments will take effect for audits of financial statements for fiscal years ending on or after June 15, 2025.
- News Release: PCAOB Adopts New Standard, Modernizing Requirements for Auditors’ Use of Confirmation to Better Protect Investors in Today’s World (September 28, 2023)
- Final Rule: The Auditor’s Use of Confirmation
- Marked Text Illustration of Amendments to PCAOB Standards
- SEC Filing Form 19b-4
- SEC Release No. 34-99060