PCAOB Approves Standard for Auditor’s Use of Specialists

January 8, 2019

Last month, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) published a final standard aimed to strengthen the requirements for an auditor’s use of specialists. Release No. 2018-006, Amendments to Auditing Standards for Auditor’s Use of the Work of Specialists, improves how an auditor uses the work of specialists and reinforces the provisions necessary for reviewing the work of an organization’s specialist.

The revised standard also aligns with the PCAOB’s risk assessment standards. Specifically, an auditor must now test the suitability of an organization’s data, as well as the significant assumptions and methods applied. PCAOB member Duane DesParte noted that the amendments clarify that an auditor cannot accept a specialist’s work at face value.

Before Release No. 2018-006 becomes effective, the Securities and Exchange Commission must sign off on each major PCAOB decision. The PCAOB hopes the standard will be effective for audits of financial statements for fiscal years ending on or following December 15, 2020.