PCAOB Meets To Reconsider AICPA's Audit Standards

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board will hold its second closed door meeting today. A key item on the agenda is the decision of whether or not to endorse AICPA's audit standards.

A motion had been made at the board's first meeting to formally adopt the AICPA's audit standards, at least on an interim basis. But the board hesitated to accept the standards because it was afraid a move in that direction might send a message that the new board supported the status quo instead of reform. The board also felt it needed legal advice on whether the AICPA's standards remain in effect.

According to the Washington Post, the AICPA is expected to ask the PCAOB to allow it to continue setting the auditing standards for publicly traded companies. If this effort fails, the fallback position is reportedly to persuade the PCAOB to seek comment and advice from the AICPA, if and when it is ready to exercise its own powers to write new auditing standards.

The Post reports that the Institute's presentation will be led by Susan Coffey, AICPA's vice president, self regulation and SEC Practice Section (SECPS), and James A. O'Malley, AICPA's senior vice president, Public Affairs Group.

Consumer groups and several members of Congress, including Sen. Paul Sarbanes, the main author of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, have warned against allowing auditors to continue to set auditing standards for publicly traded companies.

-Rosemary Schlank

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