The Public Company Accounting Oversight has announced the dates of its annual forums for auditing firms that work in the small business environment and on audits of smaller broker-dealers.

There will be seven Forums on Auditing in the Small Business Environment this year, starting with a forum in Dallas on Thursday, May 8. The forum agenda is updated every year and is designed to share important information about PCAOB activities with registered accounting firms that audit public companies operating in the small business community. The forums also provide an opportunity for board members and PCAOB staff to hear comments, concerns and questions from auditors.

"These meetings are an important part of the board’s outreach to auditors from smaller firms and a valuable platform for PCAOB staff to provide information on recent Board actions and industry trends, while also soliciting feedback from attendees,” said PCAOB chairman James R. Doty in a statement.

The 2014 schedule includes seven forums:
•    Dallas, May 8
•    Chicago, May 29
•    New York City, July 17
•    Vancouver, B.C., Sept. 11
•    Atlanta, Oct. 9
•    Miami, Oct. 30
•    Las Vegas, Dec. 3

The agenda for the Dallas meeting will feature a panel discussion on risk assessment and response, and introduces a case study on substantive testing of revenue recognition, including sampling. The case study will be presented by staff from the PCAOB’s Division of Registration and Inspections, the Division of Enforcement and Investigations, and the Office of the Chief Auditor.
Other discussion topics include remediation of audit firm quality control criticisms identified in PCAOB inspections , auditing accounting estimates, goodwill impairment analysis in audits and auditing fair value measurements.

In addition, the Office of the Chief Auditor will provide an update on standard setting regarding related parties, the auditor's reporting model, and disclosure of the engagement partner and others participating in the audit.

“The agenda for the 2014 forums will target some of the special challenges that the PCAOB inspection and enforcement programs have identified in small to midsize company audits,” said Mary Sjoquist, director of the PCAOB’s Office of Outreach and Small Business Liaison, who oversees the Small Business Forum program.

Also on hand will be staff members from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance, who will provide an update on recent SEC activities and observations about common financial reporting issues facing smaller public companies.

Each forum is typically hosted by a PCAOB board member and is open to members of PCAOB-registered firms that audit public companies. There is no fee to participate in these events, but preregistration is required. Attendees also have the opportunity to earn continuing professional education credits.

The PCAOB held its first small business forum in 2004 and has continued to hold forums across the country, meeting with more than 5,000 representatives of smaller registered public accounting firms.

Broker-Dealer Forums
The PCAOB also announced Thursday that it will hold four 2014 Forums on Auditing Smaller Broker-Dealers and the agenda for the first meeting in Chicago, on Wednesday, May 28.

The forums are designed to share important information about board activities with PCAOB-registered public accounting firms that audit smaller broker-dealers that are registered with the SEC. The forums also provide an opportunity for board members and PCAOB staff to hear comments, concerns, and questions from auditors.

“The board is fully invested in its mandate to oversee the audits of broker-dealers to promote investor protection," said Doty. “The forums are a critical part of the board’s outreach to the auditors of smaller broker-dealers. They provide information on inspections findings, the application of PCAOB auditing standards, and recent board actions.”

The 2014 schedule includes four forums:

•    Chicago, May 28
•    Jersey City, June 13
•    Miami, Oct. 29
•    Las Vegas, Dec. 2

Forum discussion topics include amendments to PCAOB rules, including independence rules related to performing tax services, guidance for applying PCAOB auditing standards to audits of broker-dealers, inspection findings and case studies.

The forum also will include presentations from the SEC staff and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, as well as a broader regulatory panel discussion.

Like the small business forums, each broker-dealer forum generally is hosted by a PCAOB board member and is open to members of PCAOB-registered firms that audit broker-dealers. They are free, but preregistration is required. Attendees also have the chance to earn CPE credits.

More information on all the forums is available on the PCAOB’s Web site.

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