Consider changes to auditing standards
to modernize and clarify principles and responsibilities fundamental to the conduct of an audit.
Most Recent Action
On March 28, 2023, the Board issued for public comment a proposal for a new standard, AS 1000, General Responsibilities of the Auditor in Conducting an Audit. The comment period is open through May 30, 2023.
In brief, the Board’s proposal would:
- Reorganize and consolidate standards that address the general principles and responsibilities of the auditor to reflect changes in the auditing environment, eliminate outdated and inconsistent language, and increase consistency throughout PCAOB standards.
- Retain and clarify the general principles and responsibilities that are important for an audit, including reasonable assurance, due professional care, professional skepticism, and professional judgment;
- Align the engagement partner’s existing supervisory responsibilities with due professional care;
- Retain the requirement for the auditor to be independent but express the obligation more directly by referring to the PCAOB’s independence rules and standards, and the SEC’s independence criteria;
- Describe the auditor’s obligations to (i) comply with ethics requirements, (ii) obtain and maintain competence, and (iii) prepare audit documentation;
- Clarify the engagement partner’s existing responsibilities for supervision and review to provide more specificity about the engagement partner’s responsibility to exercise due professional care related to supervisory and review activities;
- Clarify the requirements for audit documentation to identify who performed the work, who reviewed the work, and the date of such review;
- Clarify the meaning of “presents fairly” and streamline the requirements to provide a more logical presentation; and
- Accelerate the period for the auditor to assemble a complete and final set of audit documentation for retention from 45 days to 14 days.
Additional information on the proposal:
The auditing standards that would be superseded by the proposed amendments are:
- AS 1001, Responsibilities and Functions of the Independent Auditor;
- AS 1005, Independence;
- AS 1010, Training and Proficiency of the Independent Auditor;
- AS 1015, Due Professional Care in the Performance of Work; and
- AS 2815, The Meaning of "Present Fairly in Conformity with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles"
These standards continue to be in effect substantially in the form adopted by the Board on an interim basis from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in 2003. The general principles in these standards (e.g., due professional care and professional skepticism) remain sound, and the proposal would modernize and clarify the principles and responsibilities of the auditor in conducting an audit, and enhance the usability of the standards by making them easier to read, understand, and apply. In addition, the proposal would align the standards with other PCAOB standards and PCAOB rules.The project has been informed by: requirements in other PCAOB standards; observations from the Board’s oversight activities; changes to audit firms’ methodologies; activities of other standard setters and regulators; and information from investors and other stakeholders.
The Board issued a proposal for public comment on March 28, 2023.