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The Daily

PCAOB Releases Guidance for Naming Audit Engagement Participants

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jun 29, 2016
NameTagThe Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has released guidance to help firms implement the recent rule requiring them to name those who took part in an audit. Under new PCAOB regulations, firms are expected to disclose the name of the audit engagement partner, as well as other firms that took part in the audit, using a new Form AP that would be filed directly with the board. The data on the form will eventually be available on the PCAOB's website in a searchable database. It is the hope of the board that this new rule will increase transparency and accountability among audit firms. 

The new Form AP, according to the guidance, requires the following specific information: 

* The name of the engagement partner, and their Partner ID (a unique ten-digit identifier that will now need to be assigned by the firm to each partner who serves as engagement partner for issuer audits) and any Partner ID previously associated with the engagement partner; 

* any other accounting firm, or person or entity that opines on the compliance of any entity's financial statements, that took part in the audit; 

* the total number of hours other firms participated in the audit; 

* if another accounting firm individually contributed 5 percent or more of total audit hours, Form AP would also require the other firms' legal name, city and state of headquarters office, firm ID where applicable, and percent of total audit hours. 

The PCAOB paper also provides guidance for situations such as what to do when a partner changes their name, or if the firm divides responsibility for the audit with another public accounting firm. It also provides an example form, as well as instruction on the mechanical process of how the form is filed. 

Firms will need to start naming engagement partners on the new Form AP for audit reports issued on or after Jan. 31, 2017; other accounting firms will need to be disclosed on the form starting June 30, 2017.