The adopting release noted, as an example, that an auditor’s evaluation of a company’s goodwill impairment assessment could be a CAM if goodwill was material to the company’s financial statements, even if there was no impairment.The new standard does not specify any items that would always constitute CAMs, but instead establishes a principles-based framework for determining the existence of a CAM.Catch up with their cute kitty antics and get your kitten fix anytime...
Each CAM must relate to a material account or disclosure in the financial statements.
A CAM could be a component of a material account or disclosure and does not necessarily need to correspond to the entire account or disclosure in the financial statements, and it may not be material to the financial statements as a whole.
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Other Changes to the Auditor’s Report The new standard also includes a number of additional changes to the auditor’s report that are intended to clarify the auditor’s role and responsibilities related to the audit and make the report easier to read.
These changes include: (a) including a statement that the auditor is required to be independent; (b) addressing the auditor’s report to a company’s shareholders and board of directors; (c) changing some standardized language, including adding the phrase “whether due to error or fraud” when describing the auditor’s responsibility to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement; and (d) standardizing the format, where the auditor’s opinion would be required to appear in the first section of the auditor’s report and section titles would be added to help guide the reader.
The new standard would require the auditor’s report to include: (i) disclosure of “critical audit matters” (“CAMs”), (ii) disclosure of auditor tenure, and (iii) other related improvements to the auditor’s report.
The new standard would generally apply to audits conducted under PCAOB standards, although broker-dealers, investment companies other than business development companies, employee benefit plans and emerging growth companies would be exempt from the CAM disclosure requirement.
In adopting these changes, the PCAOB intended to make the auditor’s report more informative and relevant to investors and other financial statement users.
While the new standard is subject to SEC approval and its implementation would be phased in over time, public companies and their audit committees should consider engaging with their auditors now to discuss how their auditors expect to approach the process for identifying and disclosing CAMs as well as understand any other potential impacts of the new standard.
Auditor Tenure The new standard would also require disclosure of the auditor’s tenure, specifically, the year in which the auditor began serving consecutively as a company’s auditor.