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CAQ Issues Auditing Request for Proposals for 2018

The Center for Audit Quality (“CAQ”) has issued a request for proposals (“RFPs”) to finance auditing projects for academic research. This marks the tenth annual request by the CAQ, which is asking for applicants to submit RFPs concerning critical policy issues and topics of interest such as auditor risk assessment, cybersecurity, non-GAAP measures, and professional skepticism. Proposals must be submitted via the CAQ online submission form by March 15, 2018. The CAQ’s Research Advisory Board will review all proposals, and the CAQ will award grants to the selected projects in June 2018.

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Audit Committees Continue to Improve Transparency of External Oversight

For the fourth consecutive year, audit committees are improving transparency regarding their external auditor oversight. The news was revealed by the Center for Audit Quality (“CAQ”) and Audit Analytics’ new report, Audit Committee Transparency Barometer (“Barometer”), which stated that audit committees are voluntarily increasing the information disclosed to investors and stakeholders. This year’s Barometer report features year-over-year comparisons of significant audit committee disclosure areas for various-sized companies, including: 37 percent of S&P 500 companies’ proxy statements have increased discussion of the audit committee’s considerations in endorsing the selection of the audit firm (13 percent rise from 2014); 24 percent of mid-cap companies have increased. Read More.

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External Auditor Assessment Tool Updated

The Center for Audit Quality and Audit Committee Collaboration have published an update to the External Auditor Assessment Tool . The tool helps audit committees carry out actions involving the appointment, oversight, and determination of compensation for external auditors. The updates include considerations associated with accounting standards changes and possible risk areas, like implementation of the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s revenue recognition standard. Included in the External Auditor Assessment Tool are sample questions to help audit committees with the services and sufficiency of resources the auditor provides; the quality of the auditor’s communication and interaction; and the auditor’s independence and objectivity. Also included is. Read More.

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CAQ Study Shows Big Drop in Financial Restatements

Evaluating financial restatement trends over the ten-year period after the Sarbanes-Oxley Act’s (SOX) implementation, the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) recently released the findings of its study, Financial Restatement Trends in the United States: 2003–2012. Authored by University of Kansas Professor Susan Scholz, the report focuses on restatement activity that was disclosed by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission-registered filers. Per Scholz’s analysis and findings, it was determined that financial restatements have dramatically decreased over the years. Major takeaways from the report include the following: Contributed to the implementation of SOX Section 404 internal control reporting, restatement announcements reached its peak. Read More.

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Initiative on Rethinking Financial Disclosure Announced

In response to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Chair Mary Jo White’s plea for simplifying Form 10-K disclosure requirements, the Institute for Corporate Responsibility (“ICR”) at the George Washington University School of Business and the Center for Audit Quality (“CAQ”) have created the Initiative on Rethinking Financial Disclosure (“the Initiative”). With teams of graduate students from George Washington’s School of Business, the project will feature research of issues related to effective corporate disclosure. Each team will examine Form 10-K reports from Fortune 500 companies, and recommend how to decrease insignificant or unneeded reporting requirements without losing the information’s. Read More.

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