PCAOB guides audit committees on estimates, specialists

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The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has released a new resource for audit committees to help them better understand the board’s new requirements around auditing accounting estimates and using the work of specialists.

The new resource includes the basics of the new requirements, key takeaways for audit committees, and questions they can consider asking auditors.

In 2018, the board adopted a single standard that replaced three different previous standards for auditing accounting estimates, including fair value measurements. The new standard aims to be more responsive to risk, and to reinforce auditors’ professional skepticism.

In the same year, the PCAOB also adopted a standard on how auditors should consider the work of specialists who have either been hired by the financial statement preparer, or by the auditors themselves. Among other things, it aims to strengthen the requirements around evaluating their work.

The new requirements of the standards are due to take effect for audits of fiscal years ending on or after Dec. 15, 2020.

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