The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved rules from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board to improve audit transparency by disclosing the names of audit engagement partners, along with information about other firms that participate in the audits.
Audit firms are required to file with the PCAOB on a new form, Form AP, the name of the engagement partner for all public company audits issued on or after Jan. 31, 2017. Information about other audit firms participating in the audit must be filed for all public company audits issued on or after June 30, 2017.
“Auditing is a profession built on reputation, and one important way investors can assess the quality of an audit is to know who conducted that audit,” said PCAOB Chairman James R. Doty in a statement. “Form AP will provide that important information to investors.”
The information filed on the form will be available through a searchable database where users will be able to search by engagement partner name, by public company or issuer name, and by audit firm to see the engagement partner assigned to an audit.
Database users also will be able to search for the name, location and extent of participation of other audit firms that participated in the audit.
The PCAOB expects to release staff guidance and other tools in the near future for firms to use in implementing the new rules.
The PCAOB adopted the new rules last December.
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