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August 23, 2019

PCAOB provides guidance on auditing estimates and use of specialists

The US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has released four staff guidance documents to raise awareness and assist auditors in advance of the effective date of new estimates and specialists audit requirements. The requirements are effective for audits of financial statements for fiscal years ending on or after 15 December 2020. 

“Accounting estimates and using the work of specialists are both prevalent areas of the audit,” said Chairman William D. Duhnke. “As auditors begin to plan and perform work on audits subject to new requirements in these areas, we are committed to proactively providing resources to them and supporting effective implementation.”

The staff guidance consists of:

  • Auditing Accounting Estimates
  • Auditing the Fair Value of Financial Instruments
  • Supervising or Using the Work of an Auditor's Specialist
  • Using the Work of a Company’s Specialist

The first two documents highlight aspects of the new standard and enhancements made to integrate the Board’s risk assessment requirements when auditing accounting estimates, including fair value measurements. The other two documents highlight aspects of new requirements that apply when auditors use the work of specialists in an audit and when an auditor uses the work of a company specialist as audit evidence. 

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