AICPA finalizes omnibus statement on auditing standards

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The American Institute of CPAs’ Auditing Standards Board voted to issue a final version of its Statement on Auditing Standards, Omnibus Statement on Auditing Standards—2019, to align its guidance more closely with that of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

The AICPA’s auditing standards are still followed by the auditors of many privately held businesses, but ever since the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 established the PCAOB in the wake of a string of accounting scandals like Enron and WorldCom, the Securities and Exchange Commission has required publicly traded companies to adhere to auditing standards set by the PCAOB.

The AICPA’s Auditing Standards Board wants to harmonize its guidance with the PCAOB's SEC-sanctioned standards. In this case, it’s amending AU-C section 260, Communications With Those Charged With Governance, AU-C section 550, Related Parties, and AU-C section 240, Consideration of Fraud in a Financial Statement Audit (AICPA, Professional Standards) to align with the PCAOB standards.

The final Statement on Auditing Standards is expected to be released early this year in conjunction with a set of SASs on auditor reporting that the AICPA Auditing Standards Board is scheduled to vote to issue as final at a meeting later this month. The effective date of the finalized omnibus SAS is anticipated to be no earlier than for audits of financial statements for periods ending on or after Dec. 15, 2020.

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Audit standards AICPA PCAOB