The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has proposed an auditing standard on communications with audit committees, and a series of related amendments to interim standards.

The proposal addresses requirements for auditors to communicate with the audit committees of public company boards, and considers a number of factors, including the importance of accounting judgments and estimates in financial reporting. It also includes a requirement for auditors to establish a mutual understanding of the terms of the audit engagement with the audit committee and to document that understanding in an engagement letter.

It also includes requirements regarding:

* Communication of an overview of the audit strategy, including a discussion of significant risks; the use of the internal audit function; and the roles, responsibilities and location of firms participating in the audit;

* Communication regarding critical accounting polices, practices and estimates;

* Communication regarding the auditor's evaluation of a company's ability to continue as a going concern; and,

* Evaluation by the auditor of the adequacy of the two-way communications.

Comments on the proposed standard and amendments are due by May 27, 2010. For more, visit www.pcaobus.org.


Washington, D.C. - The Securities and Exchange Commission has appointed Howard A. Scheck chief accountant in the Division of Enforcement. Scheck rejoins the SEC staff from Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, where he was a partner in the forensic and dispute consulting practice. He previously worked at the SEC for 10 years, including as a branch chief in Enforcement. Scheck was expected to begin in his new position in mid-April.

The previous chief accountant in Enforcement, Susan G. Markel, left in January 2009 to become a managing director in the corporate investigations practice of business advisory firm AlixPartners.

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