Standing Advisory Group Wants PCAOB to Pause on Standard-Setting for Technology Use

June 13, 2017

With the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) studying auditors’ increased technology and data use, members of its Standing Advisory Group (“SAG”) have asked the board to proceed with caution when drafting new guidance. Referencing member feedback during a meeting last month, PCAOB Deputy Chief Auditor Patrick McNamee said that the SAG wants the board to focus on guidance instead of updating auditing standards. The ever-changing use of technology in audit work is being contributed to the SAG’s stance.

SAG members advised the PCAOB to use its inspection findings to assess how accounting firms use technology and data in audits, and to share any best practices observed. Members also stressed collaboration between regulators to tackle common issues such as unpredictable controls over technology and data use.

Although the PCAOB added technology to its research agenda last year to review whether changes to its standards were necessary, the board currently has no plans to undertake a standard-setting project. In response to the SAG, PCAOB Chief Auditor Martin Baumann said the board didn’t have a need to make changes to its auditing standards. Rather, Baumann said the PCAOB needs to stay aware of any developments to ensure its standards do not hinder technology advancements that may enhance audit quality.