Center for Audit Quality (CAQ)


The Center for Audit Quality is dedicated to enhancing investor confidence and public trust in the global capital markets. The CAQ has standing committees and task forces that each have a different role in enhancing the quality of public company auditing and financial reporting, including Professional Practice Executive Committee (PPEC); SEC Regulations Committee; International Practices Task Force; and Smaller Firm Task Force.

Recent Developments – Past 90 days

Select news releases

CAQ Alert 2016-02: Select Auditing Considerations for the 2016 Audit Cycle for Brokers and Dealers
CAQ - 10/04/2016
CAQ Alert 2016-02, Select Auditing Considerations for the 2016 Audit Cycle for Brokers and Dealers, provides considerations for the 2016 audit cycle that may be relevant for audit and attestation engagements of brokers and dealers registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including areas that have recently been the subject of attention and focus by the PCAOB in its interim inspection process.

CAQ Alert #2016-01 - Select Auditing Considerations for the 2016 Audit Cycle
CAQ - 10/04/2016
CAQ Alert 2016-01, Select Auditing Considerations for the 2016 Audit Cycle, reminds member firms of important auditing considerations for the 2016 audit cycle. It identifies and discusses some of the more judgmental or complex audit areas for the upcoming audit cycle, including some of those identified by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) through its inspection process and published in recent PCAOB Staff Inspection Briefs.

CAQ comments on SEC disclosure update and simplification
CAQ - 10/03/2016
The CAQ expresses its support for the SEC’s Disclosure Effectiveness Initiative, including its efforts in the Proposing Release to improve disclosures by amending certain requirements that may have become redundant, duplicative, overlapping, outdated, or superseded. The amendments will benefit investors, the CAQ says, by eliminating duplicative and outdated information thereby allowing the investor to better focus on the disclosure of material information. Additionally, these proposed changes will simplify the compliance efforts of preparers and their auditors.

CAQ comments on SEC amendments to smaller reorting company definition
CAQ - 08/30/2016
The CAQ and the Council of Institutional Investors (CII) comment on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposal, Amendments to Smaller Reporting Company Definition. The letter expresses the two organizations' strong support for the SEC's proposed amendment to the accelerated filer definition, which would maintain the current accelerated filer public float threshold. The letter also registers opposition to any amendments that would erode Section 404(b) or increase the accelerated filer public float threshold. The CAQ and CII believe that any amendment that erodes Section 404(b) would substantially impact the quality of financial reporting by public companies to the detriment of investors and our capital markets more generally.

CAQ comments on proposed Auditing Standard - The Auditor’s Report on an Audit of Financial Statements When the Auditor Expresses an Unqualified Opinion
CAQ - 08/15/2016
The CAQ applauds the efforts of the PCAOB to consider ways to update and enhance the auditor’s reporting model to provide additional information to stakeholders in an increasingly complex and global environment. The CAQ recognizes that the PCAOB has been working diligently since the Concept Release on Possible Revisions to PCAOB Standards Related to Reports on Audited Financial Statements to develop an approach that is beneficial to all stakeholders. The letter presents the CAQ's observations and suggestions on the PCAOB's reproposal in the following categories: critical audit matters, additional improvements to the auditor’s report, applicability, and effective date.

CAQ comments on SEC's regulation S-K concept release
CAQ - 07/21/2016
The CAQ notes the public company auditing profession's strong interest in the success of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Disclosure Effectiveness Initiative. In the CAQ’s view, a principles-based disclosure regime, supplemented with guidance or considerations on how to apply the principles, will promote the disclosure of meaningful and relevant information. The CAQ also expresses its support a disclosure regime that can be consistently applied to all registrants. Different reporting requirements for differently-sized registrants may result in unnecessary confusion and complexity in the disclosure framework. The flexibility offered by such a framework should encourage registrants to tailor disclosures to their facts and circumstances and reduce redundant and overlapping disclosures. The CAQ encourages the Commission to conduct further extensive outreach and engagement with investors and other users of Commission filings to understand their views on how business and financial disclosures can be improved.

CAQ comments on post-implementation review No. 2016-01 engagement quality review
CAQ – 07/01/2016
CAQ expressed support for the establishment of the PCAOB’s program under which the staff of the PCAOB Center for Economic Analysis conducts post-implementation reviews of the PCAOB rules and standards. The CAQ believes this will be a valuable addition to the board’s due process for standard setting, as it could allow the board to determine if any clarifications, implementation or more general guidance are needed to supplement its standards.

CAQ issues guidance on understanding cybersecurity and the external audit
CAQ - 02/01/2016 
The CAQ published guidance to aid member firms as they proactively discuss the profession's role as it relates to cybersecurity. The purpose of the guidance is to provide general, non-technical messages in the form of “responsive” talking points and potential Q&A to facilitate the conversation with audit committees and/or boards of directors about cybersecurity.

CAQ and Audit Analytics release 2015 'Audit Committee Transparency Barometer'
CAQ - 11/02/2015
The CAQ and Audit Analytics, an independent research provider, released findings from the new Audit Committee Transparency Barometer. In 2014, the CAQ and Audit Analytics undertook their initial effort to gauge how public company audit committees approach the public communication of their oversight activities, by measuring the robustness of proxy disclosures among companies in the S&P Composite 1500. This index is comprised of the S&P 500 (large-cap companies), the S&P MidCap 400, and the S&P SmallCap 600. The second edition of the Barometer provides a year-over-year comparison in key audit committee disclosure areas. The 2015 Barometer identifies encouraging trends in 2015 with respect to voluntary, enhanced disclosure around external auditor oversight, an important facet of the audit committee’s broader financial reporting oversight role.

CAQ issues Alerts on select auditing considerations for the 2015 audit cycle
CAQ - 10/12/2015
The AICPA Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) published two Alerts highlighting certain auditing considerations that may be relevant for the 2015 audit cycle: (1) Select Auditing Considerations for the 2015 Audit Cycle and (2) Select Considerations for the 2015 Audit Cycle for Brokers and Dealers. The Alerts discuss judgmental and complex audit areas, many of which are also identified in the recently issued PCAOB Staff Inspection Brief. 

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Highlights of SEC Regulations Committee meeting

SEC Regulations Committee highlights

CAQ - As issued

Provides access to the current and archived SEC Regulations Committee meeting highlights as issued by the SEC Regulations Committee

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Highlights of International Practices Task Force meeting

International Practices Task Force highlights

CAQ - As issued

Provides access to the current and archived International Practices Task Forcemeeting highlights as issued by the International Practices Task Force

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