PCAOB Issues Spotlight for Audits Nearing Completion in Light of COVID-19

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has released a new staff PCAOB Spotlight document, COVID-19: Reminders for Audits Nearing Completion, to provide important reminders to auditors of issuers and broker-dealers for audits nearing completion.

Reasons for Issuance of the PCAOB Spotlight

Explaining the decision to issue the new Spotlight, Chairman William D. Duhnke III said, “[t]he COVID-19 crisis is having a significant impact on investors, issuers, and auditors alike. This Spotlight is intended as a reminder that adherence to our standards takes on added importance as investors depend now, more than ever, on the integrity of financial statements.”

Reminders Included in the PCAOB Spotlight

The Spotlight includes reminders on:

  • Auditors’ responsibilities to identify, assess, and respond to risks of material misstatement;
  • Audit committee communications;
  • The auditor’s report; and
  • Quality control considerations.

The Spotlight also reminds practitioners of other resources available to auditors that do not specifically address the COVID-19 crisis but apply to uncertain economic environments, including:

  • PCAOB Staff Audit Practice Alert No. 9, Assessing and Responding to Risk in the Current Economic Environment, December 6, 2011; and
  • PCAOB Staff Audit Practice Alert No. 3, Audit Considerations in the Current Economic Environment, December 5, 2008.

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