May 6, 2009

CAQ’s New “Guide to Public Company Auditing”: An Overview of Audit Processes, Participants and Issues

Washington, D.C. – The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) today released a new resource that illustrates for capital market stakeholders the vital role public company auditors play in providing transparency in the markets.

The Guide to Public Company Auditing is an introduction to and overview of the key processes, participants and issues related to public company auditing. Presented in a straightforward, easy-to-use format, the Guide to Public Company Auditing demonstrates to investors the important role public company auditing plays in preserving the strength and stability of U.S. capital markets.

“Public company auditors bring an essential perspective to the financial reporting dialogue,” CAQ Executive Director Cindy Fornelli explained. “Our hope is that this Guide will be a useful tool for anyone interested in learning why auditors’ independent scrutiny is of such critical importance to capital market transparency.”

Written with the layperson in mind, the Guide provides answers to the most frequently asked questions about, and topics related to, public company auditing, including:

  • The relationship between company management, the audit committee and the auditors; 
  • Audit team composition; 
  • Steps in the audit process; 
  • Finding fraud; and 
  • Auditor independence.

“By giving market participants the information they need to make informed decisions, public company auditors are responsible for an increasingly invaluable function. As evidence of that, a recent survey found that three in four individual investors believe that external audits matter to the markets,” according to Fornelli. “The CAQ developed the Guide to help investors, public policy decision-makers, the media and other interested parties better understand how these highly-trained professionals go about their important work.”

Access the Guide here.

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The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) is an autonomous public policy organization serving investors, public company auditors and the capital markets. The CAQ’s mission is to foster confidence in the audit process and to aid investors and the markets by advancing constructive suggestions for change rooted in the profession’s core values of integrity, objectivity, honesty and trust. Based in Washington, D.C., the CAQ is affiliated with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. For more information, visit www.thecaq.org