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CAQ Snapshot: August 2017

Monday, August 28, 2017

Ninth Annual CAQ Symposium Explores Innovation in Learning, Risk Assessment, and More

Top practitioners from the public company auditing profession gathered with leading academics at the Ninth Annual CAQ Symposium, held this year on August 6 in San Diego. The event, which coincides each year with the American Accounting Association’s Annual Meeting, is a key part of the CAQ’s ongoing dialogue with the academic community on how research can inform audit practice.

Lynne M. Doughtie, CAQ Governing Board member and KPMG LLP US chairman and CEO, delivers opening remarks at the Annual CAQ Symposium.

As in past years, the 2017 Symposium included panel discussions on critical issues confronting the profession. This year’s sessions focused on innovative approaches to learning and development, as well as challenges and opportunities connected to how auditing firms approach risk assessment.

Stay tuned for video and other highlights from 2017 Symposium, which will be made available on the CAQ’s website and YouTube channel in September.

CAQ and AAA Issue Call for Research Proposals

The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) and the American Accounting Association (AAA) issued a call for research proposals as part of their joint Access to Audit Personnel initiative. Launched in 2012, Access to Audit Personnel is a program designed to connect academics with audit practitioners who can participate in research projects.

Applicants must submit a proposal that outlines the theory and hypotheses to be tested in the experiment along with a data collection protocol that is in an advanced stage of development. A review committee of well-respected senior academics and audit partners assess the proposals based on methodological soundness, potential contribution to academic literature, and ability to address important research questions that are relevant to practice. Proposals, which may be submitted using an online application process, are due by February 1, 2018.

CAQ Weighs in on Auditing Estimates, Auditor’s Reporting Model

This month, the CAQ provided policymakers with profession input on two key issues: (1) auditing accounting estimates and (2) the auditor’s reporting model.

On the former, the CAQ filed a letter with the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) regarding its Proposed International Standard on Auditing 540 (Revised), Auditing Accounting Estimates and Related Disclosures. Expressing its broad support for the IAASB’s efforts, the CAQ provides a range of specific recommendations for changes to enhance the clarity of the proposed standard.

Regarding the auditor’s report, the CAQ responded to a request for comment from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as it considers the proposal on the auditor’s report that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) approved in June.

In its letter to the SEC, the CAQ reiterates its support for the PCAOB’s efforts to enhance the auditor’s reporting model to provide additional information to stakeholders in an increasingly complex business environment. It recommends that the SEC approach the implementation of the new standard in a collaborative way with all members of the financial reporting supply chain to help manage the implementation process and related expectations of preparers, auditors, and investors. The CAQ also provides the SEC with views on activities that could promote collaborative implementation of the standard, once approved by the SEC.

CAQ Welcomes Chris Alabi as Professional Practice Fellow

Chris Alabi, CPA, ACA, has joined the CAQ as a professional practice fellow. In this role, Alabi will help guide the CAQ’s professional practice and public policy activities during his fellowship.

Chris Alabi, CPA, ACA

“We are thrilled that Chris is joining the CAQ team,” said CAQ Executive Director Cindy Fornelli in a press release. “His extensive experience with complex auditing and reporting issues will help guide our work to enhance audit quality on behalf of the public company auditing profession.”

Alabi is the eighth participant in the CAQ’s Professional Practice Fellowship Program, which is conducted in collaboration with the CAQ’s Governing Board member firms. He succeeds Brian Cassidy of Deloitte.

“Brian has been an indispensable member of the CAQ’s leadership team during his 18-month fellowship,” Fornelli said. “We thank Brian for his significant contributions to our public policy agenda and for his service to the public company auditing profession. We wish him well as he returns to Deloitte.”

Get Ready for the September 28 #AuditorProud Social Media Blitz

Mark your calendars: From dawn to dusk on September 28, 2017, the CAQ and its members will lead a third annual social media “blitz” to celebrate and showcase the value of auditors to the economy and the benefits of an auditing career. Using #AuditorProud, auditors, academics, and others will share messages, photos, and stories on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter about why they chose auditing, what they enjoy about working in the profession, and what a career in auditing can offer.

CAQ staffers are #AuditorProud.

The #AuditorProud blitz is a unique opportunity to promote the profession to young people, to dispel auditing myths and misperceptions, and to attract the best and brightest to audit. Visit to find blitz-related resources and participation ideas, and be a part of the #AuditorProud celebration on September 28 and beyond!

Profession in Focus: Simpson on Cyber

The commercial sector’s approach to cybersecurity “has a direct correlation to the security of our nation,” says Rear Admiral (Ret.) David G. Simpson on an August episode of “Procession in Focus.” With decades of information and communications technology experience supporting the Department of Defense and other federal agencies, Simpson provides a range of cybersecurity advice and insights, including views on the public company auditing profession’s cybersecurity role and why companies must stay proactive and organized in the face of cybersecurity threats.

Rear Admiral (Ret.) David G. Simpson talks cybersecurity with the CAQ’s Cindy Fornelli.

“You can’t expect the federal government to somehow be your shield and protect you against all potential harm in this area,” says Simpson. “You’ve got to own it.”



Join the CAQ at These Upcoming Events

Equilar Board Leadership Forum
The CAQ is proud to join Equilar and Nasdaq for the fifth Board Leadership Forum. Erin Dwyer, CAQ Senior Director of Stakeholder Engagement, will be joined by Michael Garland, Assistant Comptroller at the Office of NY City Comptroller; Drew Hambly, Executive Director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management; and Sonia Lurie, Proxy Voting Officer at Dodge & Cox for a discussion around what investors want to see from directors. Registration is open.
September 12, 2017; New York, NY (Website)

Council of Institutional Investors Fall Conference
The CAQ is pleased to continue its partnership with the Council of Institutional Investors (CII) at CII’s 2017 Fall Conference, where Cindy Fornelli will participate in “The Audit Committee in Action” simulation on September 14 at 11 a.m.
September 13-15; San Diego, CA (Website)

Discover Audit #AuditorProud Social Media Blitz
Join the CAQ and the public company auditing profession as we celebrate the third annual #AuditorProud social media blitz. We want to know why you’re excited to work in the audit profession, or with auditors, and why you’re #AuditorProud. All are welcome to participate in the social media event on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Snapchat. On the day of the blitz, participants are encouraged to upload selfies on the Discover Audit website!
September 28; Worldwide (Website)

NACD Global Board Leaders’ Summit
We look forward to seeing many of our governance colleagues at this year’s NACD Global Board Leaders’ Summit. Join us October 2 at the Audit Committee Forum and at 7 a.m. on October 3 for a power breakfast where Cindy Fornelli will moderate a discussion with Marc Panucci, Deputy Chief Accountant at the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Phillip Austin, BDO’s National Managing Partner of Auditing, on “Sensitivity in Disclosures & Transparency.” Registration is now open!
October 1-4; National Harbor, MD (Website)

Fall Engagement Summit
The CAQ is pleased to sponsor and participate in the Fall Engagement Summit on Thursday, October 12. We look forward to seeing our investor and governance colleagues there.
October 12, 2017; New York, NY (Website)

John L. Weinberg Center and Center for Audit Quality Event
The CAQ is proud to partner with the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance for a discussion on “Telling Your Company’s Story: The Board’s Role in Disclosure.” The CAQ’s Cindy Fornelli will join panelists Eileen Cohen (JPMorgan Asset Management), Robert Evans III (Securities and Exchange Commission); Peggy Foran (Prudential Financial, Inc.), Douglas Maine (Independent Director and Audit Committee Chair – BroadSoft, Inc., Orbital-ATK, Inc.), The Honorable John Noble (Former Vice Chancellor at the Delaware Court of Chancery), Sharon Virag (Aetna), John White (Cravath, Swaine, and Moore, LLP) and moderator Charles Elson (Weinberg Center) for a lively discussion.
October 24, 2017; Newark, DE (Register Here)