Transition in the Office of the Chief Auditor of the PCAOB
Exclusive CPA Journal Interviews with Douglas R. Carmichael and Thomas Ray

By Mary-Jo Kranacher

Mary-Jo Kranacher, CPA Journal Editor-in-Chief, interviewed both Douglas R. Carmichael, the first Chief Auditor of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), and his successor, Thomas Ray. They spoke about the role of the Chief Auditor at the PCAOB and their common approach to the office and the issues facing the profession.

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Essentials
Publisher's Column
Perspectives

Automating the Confirmation Process

High-profile audit failures at Parmalat and CF Foods point to a need to improve current audit confirmation practices. In both audits, the manual confirmation process failed to provide reliable evidence concerning the existence assertion for cash and accounts-receivable balances. This failure was caused by the inability of the manual confirmation process to authenticate who completed the confirmation request. In the current manual confirmation environment, the auditor controls the initial mailing of confirmation requests to the client’s banks, accounts receivable customers, and others. Full Story

Professional Ethics and the CPA in Industry

In 2003, he Society’s Board of Directors created the Quality Enhancement Policy Committee (QEPC) to ensure that peer review and ethics are meeting the needs of the accounting profession and the public that it serves. Now that the board has approved the final draft of the QEPC’s white paper on peer review (it was published in the March CPA Journal)—and implementation of the white paper’s concepts is being discussed—the committee has begun to consider the next item on its agenda: ethics. The QEPC has already gathered some interesting historical information on the profession’s ethics process. Full Story

Implementing Sarbanes-Oxley Act Section 404

In the first year of compliance with section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), affected companies produced a volume of opinion on how the process could be improved. Following the SEC’s call for suggestions on the topic, Edison Electric Institute (EEI) collected the views and experiences of the electric utilities industry. The participants’ thoughts and ideas presented are summarized below. Overall, the electric utility industry believes that SOX section 404 compels a company to take a hard look at its business processes and systems, which is good.
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