American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)


The AICPA represents the CPA profession nationally regarding rule-making and standard-setting, and serves as an advocate before legislative bodies, public interest groups and other professional organizations. The AICPA develops standards for audits of private companies and other services by CPAs; provides educational guidance materials to its members; develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination; and monitors and enforces compliance with the profession’s technical and ethical standards.

Recent Developments – Past 90 days

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PEEC issues new interpretation on firm mergers & acquisitions and adopts revised definition of "affiliate"
AICPA - 09/14/2015
The AICPA's Professional Ethics Executive Committee (PEEC) has published a new interpretation titled Firm Mergers and Acquisitions to provide guidance to members in situations where independence with respect to an attest client may become impaired as a result of a firm merger or acquisition. In addition, the PEEC has adopted a revised definition of "affiliate" intended to clarify and provide guidance on how to treat multiple and multiemployer employee benefit plans under this definition. The new definition is effective on October 31, 2015.

AICPA issues white paper on the use of information technology in risk management
AICPA - 09/08/2015
The AICPA Assurance Services Executive Committee (ASEC) has released a white paper titled The Use of Information Technology in Risk Management. The white paper discusses how current trends in technology tools and risk applications can help to enhance the maturity of risk management overall.

AICPA issues Conceptual Framework toolkit for members in business
AICPA - 09/07/2015
The AICPA has issued a toolkit for members in business that can be used to guide members as they analyze relationships and circumstances that are not addressed by the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct.

AICPA issues technical Q&A on supplementary information
AICPA - 08/21/2015
The AICPA has issued a technical question and answer (Q&A) on Section 9180.01, Required Supplementary Information in Historical Prior Periods and Auditor Independence of the Entity, to provide nonauthoritative guidance to auditors when required supplementary information (RSI) accompanies financial statements subject to an audit and such RSI extends to historical prior periods (back periods) in which the auditor did not perform an engagement that required independence. The guidance states that the auditor is not required, for purposes of complying with AU-C section 730,Required Supplementary Information, to be independent of the entity in back periods as long as the auditor's opinion does not cover RSI.

AICPA issues Conceptual Framework toolkits 
AICPA - 08/17/2015
The AICPA has issued two toolkits that can be used to guide members as they analyze relationships and circumstances that are not addressed by the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct: (1) Conceptual Framework Toolkit for Members in Public Practice and (2) Conceptual Framework Toolkit for Independence. A third toolkit for members in business and industry will be available later this month.

AICPA illustrates the differences between FRF for SMEs and U.S. GAAP
AICPA - 08/11/2015
The AICPA has published a paper that contains sample financial statements based on the AICPA'sFinancial Reporting Framework for Small and Medium Entities (FRF for SMEs) and U.S. GAAP to illustrate the differences between the two reporting options.

AICPA issues new and updated audit data standards 
AICPA - 07/31/2015
The AICPA Assurance Services Executive Committee (ASEC) Emerging Assurance Technologies Task Force has published updated standardized audit data standards for use by management and internal and external auditors. The standards were developed by the Task Force’s Audit Data Standard Working Group. These voluntary, uniform data standards provide a common framework and cover data fields and files commonly requested from auditors. These standards also facilitate the use of audit analytics.

PEEC non-enforcement policy for members who perform PCAOB audits not covered by AICPA Council Resolution 
AICPA - 07/22/2015
In a recently published non-enforcement policy, the AICPA Professional Ethics Executive Committee (PEEC) has agreed that it will not take enforcement action against a member or member firm (“member”) who performs an audit using PCAOB auditing standards for an entity, other than an issuer or SEC-registered broker dealer, and fails to also apply and report under generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS) provided such entity is required by law or regulation to have an audit performed under PCAOB auditing standards. The non-enforcement policy applies to audits covering periods ended or ending on or before December 31, 2015. After such periods, members will be expected to also comply with GAAS when performing audits of such entities.

AICPA issues guidance on SOC 2 reports and additional subject matter
AICPA - 07/13/2015
The AICPA issued guidance about additional considerations when a service organization requests that the service auditor’s report address either criteria in addition to the applicable trust services criteria or additional subject matter related to the service organization’s services using additional suitable criteria related to that subject matter, or both. The guidance provides (1) examples of engagements to report on subject matter in addition to management’s description of a service organization’s system, and (2) an example of an engagement to report on the same subject matter (no additional subject matter) based on additional criteria.

AICPA issues guidance concerning updates to audit response letters
AICPA - 07/06/2015
Due to the increased frequency of update requests and the lack of guidance regarding these requests, the AICPA’s ABA Business Law Section Audit Responses Committee has prepared the new statement to outline the reasons auditors seek updates of audit response letters and to present the committee’s views on appropriate practices for responding to update requests under the ABA Statement of Policy Regarding Lawyers’ Responses to Auditors’ Requests for Information. The new exhibit is intended to enhance the ability of lawyers to respond efficiently to requests to update their audit response letters—thereby facilitating the audit process and contributing to audit quality.

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Exposure Drafts

AICPA proposes changes to trust services principles and criteria
AICPA - 06/15/2015
The AICPA’s Assurance Services Executive Committee (ASEC) issued an exposure draft of proposed amendments to TSP section 100, Trust Services Principles and Criteria for Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality, and Privacy. TSP section 100 presents criteria for use by practitioners when providing attestation or consulting services to evaluate controls relevant to the security, availability, or processing integrity of a system, or the confidentiality or privacy of the information processed by the system. The proposed amendments revise and update the criteria related to ‘privacy.' [Comments due - August 15, 2015]

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PwC comment letters

PwC comments on the AICPA's proposed amendment to AU-C 700 
AICPA - 09/30/2015 
PwC supports requiring the PCAOB report layout and wording when referring to both PCAOB and AICPA standards.

PwC comments on proposed revision to the AICPA Trust Services Principles
AICPA - 09/16/2015 
PwC supports the proposed revisions to Trust Services Principles, and offers some recommendations for consideration.

PwC comments on the AICPA's Enhancing Audit Quality discussion paper
AICPA - 11/10/2014
PwC strongly supports the AICPA's goals related to their enhancing audit quality initiatives.

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