The American Institute of CPAs’ Auditing Standards Board has released three exposure drafts proposing ways to improve the usefulness of the auditor’s report, in response to recent standards from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board.

AICPA building in Durham, N.C.
Photo: AICPA

The three exposure drafts are:

Proposed Statement on Auditing Standards: Omnibus Statement on Auditing Standards—2018 proposes to harmonize Generally Accepted Auditing Standards with two PCAOB standards—Auditing Standard 1301, Communication with Audit Committees, and AS 2410, Related Parties. The two PCAOB standards came out after the AICPA’s Auditing Standards Board finished work on its Clarity Project in 2012 for making its auditing standards clearer. The exposure draft proposes to amend various sections of the AICPA’s Professional Standards.

Proposed Statements on Auditing Standards: Auditor Reporting and Proposed Amendments―Addressing Disclosures in the Audit of Financial Statements aims to modify and extend the auditor's report as part of an effort to align the AICPA standards with the guidance of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board. The exposure draft proposes a new auditing standard, Communicating Key Audit Matters in the Independent Auditor’s Report, and to supersede and amend various sections of the AICPA’s Professional Standards.

Proposed Statement on Auditing Standards: The Auditor’s Responsibilities Relating to Other Information Included in Annual Reports would supersede AU-C section 720, Other Information in Documents Containing Audited Financial Statements (part of the AICPA’s Professional Standards), with the goal of providing more consistency and less diversity in practice.

The AICPA is asking for comments on the three exposure drafts by May 15, 2018. The provisional effective date of all three of them wouldn’t be earlier than for audits of financial statements for periods ending on or after June 15, 2019.

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Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn, editor-in-chief of AccountingToday.com, has been covering business and technology for a variety of publications since 1985.