The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has published new guidance about the recent requirement for accounting firms to file annual reports about their audit clients, fees, staff disciplinary histories and other information.

The document, in the form of questions and answers from the PCAOB staff, explains the new requirement under which all firms registered with the PCAOB as of March 31 of a particular year must file an annual report by June 30 of that year. The report, which must be filed on the PCAOB’s new Form 2, must cover the 12-month period ending March 31.

Firms are expected to report annually on information such as audit reports issued, the disciplinary histories of new personnel, and certain information about the fees billed to audit clients for various types of services.  The PCAOB rules on annual reporting became effective on Dec. 31, 2009.

Topics addressed in the guidance include an overview of the requirements relating to Form 2, a discussion of the information required to be reported on Form 2, guidance on completing and amending Form 2, information on requesting confidential treatment and withholding information on the basis of non-U.S. legal restrictions, and a discussion of the mechanics of reporting through the PCAOB Web-based system.

Additional questions can be sent to the PCAOB staff at registration-help@pcaobus.org. The staff questions and answers for Form 2 are available on the PCAOB Web site under Registration and Reporting.

The PCAOB cautioned that staff questions and answers do not constitute PCAOB rules, nor have they been approved by the board.

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