The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has issued for public comment a proposed new standard, AS 1000, ‘General Responsibilities of the Auditor in Conducting an Audit’. The Board requests public comment on the proposal by 30 May, 2023.

If adopted, AS 1000 would reorganise and consolidate a group of standards that were adopted on an interim basis by the PCAOB in April 2003 and that address the core principles and responsibilities of the auditor, such as reasonable assurance, professional judgment, due professional care, and professional skepticism.

The proposal would also amend certain other standards that address responsibilities fundamental to the conduct of an audit. Among other changes, the amendments would (1) reinforce and clarify the engagement partner’s responsibility to exercise due professional care related to supervision and review and (2) accelerate the documentation completion date by reducing the maximum period for the auditor to assemble a complete and final set of audit documentation from 45 days to 14 days.

PCAOB chair, Erica Y. Williams, commented: “Our capital markets never stop evolving, and PCAOB standards must keep up to keep investors protected.

“This proposal would modernise standards that are foundational to audit quality, ensuring they are fit to meet today’s challenges.”

Since the PCAOB’s adoption of the interim standards in 2003, the auditing environment has continued to develop in many ways, including new PCAOB standards, new or revised independence requirements, and advancements in technology affecting the availability of electronic audit evidence and use of audit software.

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The proposal would bring important improvements designed to reflect changes in the auditing environment, eliminate outdated and inconsistent language, and increase consistency throughout PCAOB standards.

Detailed questions are included throughout the proposal, and commenters are encouraged to comment on any or all topics, respond to any or all questions, provide feedback in areas not covered by specific questions, and provide any evidence that informs commenters’ views.