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Audit firms, standard-setters and regulators are developing a growing number of resources to help auditors, management and audit committees understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on financial reporting and oversight, and the CAQ is working to curate and distill that information for you.

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Audit Committee

Policymakers across the globe increasingly recognize the vital role of audit committees and their importance to audit quality. In close collaboration with partner organizations, the CAQ is actively engaged in policy developments related to audit committees.

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Audit Committee Insights

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Audit Committees

Audit Committee members are an essential component to the health of our financial reporting ecosystem and capital markets. While our economy is constantly evolving, so is the role of audit committee members. Policymakers, investors, and other leaders across the globe increasingly recognize the vital role of audit committees and their importance to audit quality. In close collaboration with partner organizations, the CAQ is actively engaged in developments that impact audit committees and provides valuable resources, current policy information, and tools to support audit committees with their responsibilities.

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Audit Quality

Auditors are highly skilled at adapting and problem solving, without sacrificing the audit quality on which our capital markets and investors depend. It is no surprise that under unprecedented circumstances, long-term investments in training and technology enabled the profession to quickly transition to remote work. Many factors lead to a quality audit, but a combination of auditor expertise and independence coupled with constant innovation and technology bolsters the level of trust and confidence in company financial statements and forms the basis of audit quality—and, therefore, value to capital markets.

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Audit Quality Indicators

The CAQ has been at the forefront of the movement to develop quantitative and qualitative metrics regarding the audit—commonly referred to as audit quality indicators (AQIs)—that could be used to better inform audit committees about key matters that may contribute to the quality of an audit.

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Auditor Reporting

Engaging constructively with policymakers and key stakeholders, the CAQ and its members have made substantial and practical contributions to ongoing efforts to enhance information presented in the auditor’s report to investors and other users.

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Auditors

Auditors play a key role as independent gatekeepers in the financial reporting ecosystem that underpins confidence in capital markets. Auditors build trust and confidence in information through the assurance services they provide. The auditing profession has steadily developed, systemized, and strengthened this trust and confidence-building role in providing assurance related to company financial statements and internal control over financial reporting. While auditors will continue the essential work of auditing historical financial statements, they can also bring their ability to enhance trust and confidence in other types of data and information issued by companies.

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Auditors & ESG Information

Lending trust and credibility to ESG information.

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Audits of Brokers and Dealers

A significant portion of the CAQ’s member firms audit brokers and dealers. The CAQ monitors and provides resources to aid its membership in this area, which is a focus for policymakers.

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CAQ Symposium

The Annual CAQ Symposium brings together practice leaders and audit research scholars for a discussion of important issues and an exploration of how research can inform those issues. On the pages for each event, find videos, summaries, and panel participants.

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Case Studies

A collaborative effort of the Anti-Fraud Collaboration, these case studies are educational tools for all members of the financial reporting supply chain, as well as students. Participants in case study teachings start with a hypothetical scenario about a fictional company dealing with a fraud. Guided by an instructor, they then discuss what could have been done to address the situation.

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Classroom and Training Resources

The CAQ creates educational videos that can be used in the classroom or as training resources. Available videos include a “Video Vignettes” series that provides a view into the types of conversations that take place during an audit. Videos also include classroom-ready excerpts derived from an expert panel at a CAQ event.

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Collective Action in the Fight Against Fraud

Strong fraud deterrence and detection requires all participants in the financial reporting ecosystem to exercise extreme vigilance. In a heightened risk environment regulators, internal and external auditors, audit committees, and public company management must work together to effectively detect and deter fraud.

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Connecting Auditors and Academics

Since its inception, the CAQ has sought to improve audit quality by increasing engagement between auditors and the academic community by fostering independent research related to the public company auditing profession.

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Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity threats are complex and an evolving issue with serious implications for public companies, their boards, investors, and other stakeholders, making it critical that the public company auditing profession does their part to support companies, boards, and others in addressing such threats.

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Effective Disclosure

The CAQ is a prominent voice in the discussion about effective financial disclosures. Convening key investor and financial groups, the CAQ has developed concrete recommendations on ways to facilitate investors’ access to meaningful information.

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Emerging Technologies

Emerging technologies are altering the financial reporting environment substantially, and this change is accelerating. For auditors and others in financial reporting, the CAQ provides insights on the benefits and risks of technology developments.

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Ensuring Reliability, Quality, and Independence in Public Company Audits

The CAQ is dedicated to enhancing investor confidence by supporting the public company auditing profession every day to improve audit quality and enhance auditor independence, creating a solid foundation of financial reporting that benefits investors in the United States.

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Fair Value Accounting

The CAQ has engaged on the issue of fair value (or mark-to-market) accounting, regarding both its usage broadly in the markets and in the context of auditing fair value measurements.

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Future Talent

Are you purpose-driven? Are you a natural problem solver with an unquenchable curiosity? Are you fascinated by the inner workings of companies and financial markets? Then a career in audit may be right for you.

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ICFR

Robust internal control over financial reporting (ICFR) is a keystone of investor confidence. The CAQ has advanced the discussion around ICFR and produced a range of resources on the issue.

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IFRS

In an increasingly interconnected global economy, market participants are considering whether it is possible or desirable to move toward a more uniform global “language” for financial reporting. As the discussion has taken place around International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), the CAQ has been an active voice.

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Independent Standard Setting

The CAQ has been outspoken against policy provisions that would interfere with the independence of the accounting and auditing standard-setting processes.

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International Practices Task Force Inflation Discussion Documents

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International Practices Task Force Meeting Highlights

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Investors

The CAQ works to increase investor trust in the capital markets by promoting and developing high-quality performance from the public company auditing profession. A cornerstone of our strong U.S. capital markets is the trust investors place on audited financial statements when making critical decisions. Our resources provide information for investors on developments in the auditing profession, oversight and governance of public companies, and leading practices in the field of audit.

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Mandatory Firm Rotation

The CAQ has been a leading voice on the issue of mandatory audit firm rotation, which has significant implications for investors, audit committees, public company auditors, and the markets.

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Public Policy & Technical Alert

Keeping CAQ members and stakeholders informed on significant public policy and accounting matters.

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Research Advisory Board Grant Program

The CAQ and the public company auditing profession are dedicated to supporting valuable independent academic research that can have important, real-world impact on audit quality and the future of auditing.

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Risk Assessment Panel Discussion

The panel discussion videos are short excerpts from a CAQ event where practitioners and a leading academic provide perspectives on various issues related to the auditors’ risk assessment of a company. Included are the panelist bios and free short descriptions of each video excerpt.

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Role of the Auditor

The CAQ has been at the forefront of the discussion around the role of the public company auditor and whether it should evolve to meet the changing information needs of investors.

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Sarbanes-Oxley

The enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002, a law aimed at fostering more reliable financial reporting and enhancing audit quality, was a watershed moment for investors, public company auditors, and the markets. The CAQ has worked to create understanding of the impact of this important law. It has opposed efforts to weaken SOX section 404(b), which provides investors with important assurance by the independent auditor regarding management’s representations about the effectiveness of their company’s internal control over financial reporting (ICFR).

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SEC Regulations Committee Highlights

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Snapshot Alert

Stay updated on the latest CAQ news.

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The CAQ at AAA

Since 2008, the CAQ has organized and participated in panel discussions at the Annual Meeting of the American Accounting Association (AAA).

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The Value of Auditor Independence

Our capital markets are an important engine for driving and maintaining our economic and societal well-being. These markets operate on information, and audited financial statements have long been a critical element of this information dynamic for their accuracy, transparency, and reliability. As investors make decisions, they depend on the information they receive from public company management. As a result, investors need—and in fact have long sought—an independent third party to provide assurance on the information provided by company management. Independence underpins the very credibility of the audit and, ultimately, its value to capital markets. It is also one reason why audit quality in the US has never been higher.

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Transparency of Audits

The CAQ has engaged on the issue of effectively enhancing transparency in the audit, endeavoring to facilitate access to meaningful information for financial statement users and other constituencies.

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Video Vignettes

The vignettes provide insights into the types of conversations that occur between audit team members, as well as between auditors and preparers. The discussions captured in the videos can also be used in other teaching situations, as they highlight communications and interviewing techniques, professional skepticism, and how to navigate conversations on difficult and sensitive issues.

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