The American Institute of CPAs’ (AICPA) Auditing Standards Board recently issued a new interpretation that will allow practitioners to perform and report on an attestation engagement according to two attestation standards – the AICPA’s and another set of standards, provided that both are followed completely.
Attestation Interpretation No. 4 to AT-C Section 105, Concepts Common to All Attestation Engagements, offers examples of additional language to use in attestation reports to indicate that the engagement was done according to AICPA standards and another set of attestation standards.
Here’s a question that was posited by the board: If a practitioner performs an attestation engagement according to AICPA attestation standards and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) interim attestation standards, how would the practitioner reference both sets of attestation standards if the practitioner chooses to do so in the attestation report?
The interpretation: If both sets of attestation standards are referenced, the statement that the engagement was done in accordance with AICPA standards would be amended to add that the engagement also meets the PCAOB interim attestation standards.
In addition, a reference to “the standards” of the PCAOB indicates that the auditor has complied not only with the PCAOB interim attestation standards, but also with the related professional practice standards of the PCAOB, including its independence rules.
But a reference to “the attestation standards” of the PCAOB is limited to compliance with the interim attestation standards of the PCAOB.
Terry Sheridan is an award-winning journalist who has covered real estate, mortgage finance, health care, insurance, personal finance, and accounting and taxation issues for newspapers, magazines, and websites. A Chicago native and former South Florida resident, she now lives in New England.