The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has issued an alert highlighting how the current economic crisis could increase various audit risks such as fraud.

The PCAOB said those risks required extra emphasis in audits of financial statements and audits of internal control.

"This alert is intended to highlight special auditing challenges and risks posed by the current economic environment, including fraud risk, as auditors gear up to complete their year-end auditing for 2008 and for as long as current conditions persist," said PCAOB chief auditor Tom Ray in a statement.

The staff audit practice alert discusses overall audit considerations, auditing fair value measurements, auditing accounting estimates, auditing the adequacy of disclosures, the auditor's consideration of a company's ability to continue as a going concern, and additional audit considerations for selected reporting areas.

"Among other things, the current uncertainties in the market and economy may create questions about the valuation, impairment or recoverability of certain assets and the completeness or valuation of certain liabilities reflected in financial statements," said the alert.

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