Responding to the meltdown in the mortgage and credit markets, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has issued a staff audit practice alert to remind auditors of their responsibilities for auditing fair value measurements of financial instruments, and how much reliance to place on the work of specialists.

"We were motivated to develop and issue this alert by the auditing challenges presented by the subprime credit situation and its effects on the markets and fair value measurements," said Marty Baumann, director of the PCAOB Office of Research and Analysis, in a statement.

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