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Public company auditors enhance trust in the capital markets and maintain audit quality through their expertise, independence and continuous innovation.

Enhancing trust in company-reported information is a key aspect of the public interest role that public company auditors play worldwide. Accurate financial information helps capital markets allocate to the most profitable opportunities which in turn drives growth and contributes to a healthy economy.

The combination of balancing expertise through the multidisciplinary model (MDM), the strength of existing independence regulation, and the continued emphasis on evolving to meet the growing needs of the profession all contribute to a strengthening system of audit quality.

The Multi-Disciplinary Model | The MDM allows public company audit firms to assemble teams of subject-matter experts, who are able to address the most challenging areas of a company’s business. In collaboration with these experts, auditors are able to solve complex problems, improve audit quality and enhance trust in public company financial statements.

Independence | Auditor independence is a cornerstone of the profession, and of audit quality, as it is critical that the interests of the external auditor who is providing reasonable assurance over the financial statements are independent of the company.

Innovation | Auditors are re-thinking how the audit is performed through continuous innovation. New technologies, machine learning, and data and analytics are constantly the quality and reliability of audits today.


Auditors are also meeting the demand for company information outside of the traditional financial statements.

Public companies are providing other information that investors and other financial statement users are asking for, and relying on, such as non-GAAP measures, key performance indicators (KPIs), or increasingly a company’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data. Just as public company auditors enhance confidence in financial information, auditors can and are bringing their skillset to increasing confidence in other types of company information.

While the financial landscape around us is rapidly changing, the audit profession remains committed to making our capital markets a fairer, and more just landscape for everyone through high quality audit standards made possible by expert professionals, independence regulation, and the continued commitment of members of our profession.

Learn more about the work the public company auditing profession is doing to create trust in our capital markets.


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Access to Audit Personnel Grant Program

The CAQ, in connection with the Auditing Section of the AAA, established a program designed to facilitate accounting and auditing academics’ ability to obtain access to audit firm personnel to participate in their research projects.


Annual CAQ Symposium

The Annual CAQ Symposium is designed to bring together practice leaders and audit research scholars for discussion of important issues and exploration of how research can inform those issues. On the pages for each event, find videos, summaries, and lists of panel participants (along with biographical information for those panelists).



The CAQ and the Anti-Fraud Collaboration produce a wide range of resources to promote the deterrence and detection of financial reporting fraud. Key topics include fraud prevention and detection, emerging technologies, regulatory matters, and culture.


Audit Committee Issues

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.


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.


Auditor Independence

Along with skepticism and objectivity, independence is a pillar of audit quality. Audit firms are committed to continuously enhancing their policies, processes, and systems to monitor independence on audit engagements.


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.


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.


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.


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.



Audit firms, standard-setters, regulators and the CAQ are developing a growing number of resources to help auditors, investors, 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.



A complex and evolving issue, cybersecurity has serious implications for public companies, their boards, investors, and other stakeholders. The CAQ works to illuminate the role of auditors in this critical area.


Diversity and Inclusion

The Center for Audit Quality strives to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion within our organization and across the entire public company auditing profession. We believe diverse perspectives coupled with inclusive and equitable cultures, leads to greater innovation, improved decision making, and ultimately, enhanced audit quality.


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.


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.


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.



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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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).


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).


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.


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.