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CAQ Snapshot: December 2019

Saturday, December 21, 2019

CAQ Paper Examines Evolving Role of Auditors in Company-Prepared Information

Auditors are uniquely qualified to enhance confidence in a wide range of company-prepared information outside financial statements, according to a December 2019 white paper from the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ), The Role of Auditors in Company-Prepared Information: Present and Future. The paper provides a foundational understanding of the current role of auditors in various types of publicly disclosed information, as well as how that role is evolving.

“Investors and other market stakeholders increasingly rely on information beyond financial statements to make decisions and assess company value, yet much of this information doesn’t undergo independent review,” said CAQ Executive Director Julie Bell Lindsay in a press release announcing the paper. “Employing their critical thinking, skepticism, business knowledge, and technical expertise, auditors stand ready to enhance the reliability of corporate information for the benefit of the capital markets, investors, and the public.”

As explored in the paper, auditors are poised to enhance confidence in currently unaudited information such as non-GAAP financial measures; key performance indicators; cybersecurity reporting; and environmental, social, and governance disclosures.

In Speech, CAQ Executive Director Discusses State of Profession and What Lies Ahead

In keynote remarks before the AICPA Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments, CAQ Executive Director Julie Bell Lindsay highlighted the robust health of audit quality and the public company auditing profession.

“Today, we [at the CAQ] carry out our mission on behalf of a profession that is strong,” she said. “Audit quality remains high and has the potential to improve further thanks to the use of technology.”

Lindsay briefed the audience on key CAQ initiatives, including the organization’s current work to support the implementation of critical audit matters, to collaborate with partners in the fight against financial reporting fraud, and to attract top talent to public company auditing. She also focused on evolution in the markets and how public company auditors can expand their trust-building role to help investors, audit committees, and others cope with the growing amount of unaudited company-prepared information, among other key challenges.

“The changes I am discussing will not happen overnight, and they won’t occur without considerable discussion and effort,” said Lindsay. “The Center for Audit Quality is uniquely positioned to facilitate the stakeholder conversations which need to happen on these topics, and we intend to do so going into 2020 and beyond.”

Watch Now: Anti-Fraud Collaboration Webcast on Assessing Culture

Over 1,900 people tuned in to watch the Anti-Fraud Collaboration’s December 3 webcast, which is now available on YouTube. The 90-minute event highlights leading qualitative and quantitative practices that companies can use to conduct a robust culture assessment.

Moderated by CAQ Executive Director Julie Bell Lindsay, the free webcast provides expert insights from Joe Dettmann, Principal in EY’s People Advisory Services; Melody Jones, Independent Board Director and Founder of 32-80 Advisors; Stacey Schabel, Vice President & Chief Audit Executive at Jackson Holdings LLC; and Caroline Sullivan, Senior Vice President & Corporate Controller at Moody’s Corporation.

Share Your Career Road

In partnership with the career experts at Roadtrip Nation, the CAQ has created Discover Audit’s Share Your Road Portal, which allows audit professionals to share their experience and advice with students, career seekers, and career counselors. Visitors to the site can browse the growing database of profiles by job title, areas of interest, education, and other criteria. For those interested in helping young people find their path into auditing, the process is simple and easy—visit the portal to get started.

Check Out These Upcoming Events

American Accounting Association Auditing Section Midyear Meeting

January 16–18, 2020; Houston, TX
At this event, the CAQ will host an Excellence in Auditing Education Workshop—“How Are Innovations in Technology Influencing the Audits of Today and Tomorrow?”—and lead a panel discussion on its work with Roadtrip Nation to foster awareness of auditing careers.

2020 Accounting Programs Leadership Group & the Federation of Schools of Accountancy Annual Joint Seminar

February 7–8, 2020; Long Beach, CA
Liz Barentzen, CAQ Senior Director of Human Capital and Administration, will speak at this annual event, which brings together accounting program directors, department chairs, and deans.