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CAQ Snapshot: October 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015

CAQ Governing Board Taps Deloitte’s Engelbert as New Chairman

The Center for Audit Quality’s Governing Board has elected Catherine M. Engelbert, CEO of Deloitte LLP, as its Chairman. Engelbert succeeds Robert E. Moritz, Chairman and Senior Partner at PwC US (PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP), who served two terms as chair (the maximum number of consecutive terms a CAQ chair or vice chair may serve).

Catherine M. Engelbert, CEO of Deloitte LLP
Catherine M. Engelbert, CEO of Deloitte LLP

“Cathy is a widely respected and trailblazing figure in the public company auditing profession,” said CAQ Executive Director Cindy Fornelli in a statement. “The CAQ will benefit from her expertise, her passion for the profession, and her continued leadership on the CAQ’s various initiatives.” 

“I welcome the opportunity to lead the CAQ’s Governing Board during such an exciting time for the profession,” added Engelbert. “In light of ever-evolving technology and fast-paced developments around the globe, there are countless opportunities to move the profession forward. I am honored to work with my fellow Governing Board members, along with Cindy and her team, as we make important strides to enhance the quality of public company audits and financial reporting on behalf of the investing public.”

The CAQ’s Governing Board is made up of chief executive officers from leading public company auditing firms and the American Institute of CPAs, as well as three independent board members from outside the public company auditing profession. The Board provides oversight for the organization and leads development of its strategic agenda to support a robust public company auditing profession that can meet the needs of capital markets and investors.

Fornelli thanked Moritz for his “leadership and strategic guidance” during his tenure as chair. Said she: “Bob’s visionary thinking has contributed enormously to important CAQ initiatives, such as the development and pilot testing of our approach to audit quality indicators, as well as our ongoing efforts to work effectively with financial markets participants and policymakers to better meet the needs of investors.”

Engelbert will serve a two-year term as Chairman. RSM US LLP Managing Partner and CEO Joseph M. Adams will continue to serve as the Board’s Vice-Chairman. 

Anti-Fraud Collaboration Creates Valuable Self-Study Program on Ethics

Leveraging its successful series of webcasts, the Anti-Fraud Collaboration unveiled a set of online self-study courses for corporate ethics training. Housed on the learning platform of the American Institute of CPAs, the courses can be taken free of charge and with the potential of earning up to two continuing professional education (CPE) credits per course.

 Fornelli Urges Stakeholders to Weigh in on SEC Audit Committee Disclosure Concept Release The self-study program—suitable for accountants, financial executives, directors, external and internal auditors, and other members of the financial reporting supply chain—tracks the topics covered during the webcast series. These include “How Corporate Culture Can Breed Fraud, “Ethical Corporate Cultures,” and “Effective Whistleblower Programs,” among others.

“Resources such as these online ethics courses are precisely what we envisioned when we formed the Anti-Fraud Collaboration five years ago,” said CAQ Governing Board Member Michele Hooper, President and CEO of The Directors’ Council and Co-Chair of the Anti-Fraud Collaboration. “Together, we are leveraging the collective expertise of these organizations for the benefit of all.”

The Anti-Fraud Collaboration consists of the Center for Audit Quality, Financial Executives International, the National Association of Corporate Directors, and The Institute of Internal Auditors.

New CAQ Alerts Summarize Potential Risk Areas for Upcoming Audit Cycle 

The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) published two new alerts to help public company auditing firms address potential risks in a proactive and accelerated manner. The first, Select Auditing Considerations for the 2015 Audit Cycle, reminds member firms of important auditing considerations for the 2015 audit cycle. It identifies and discusses some of the more judgmental or complex audit areas, many of which are also included in a Staff Inspection Brief from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), published in October of 2015.

 Fornelli Urges Stakeholders to Weigh in on SEC Audit Committee Disclosure Concept Release A companion alert, Select Considerations for the 2015 Audit Cycle for Brokers and Dealers addresses a recent PCAOB Staff Inspection Brief on the 2015 inspections of auditors of brokers and dealers. The CAQ alert provides links to select guidance on inspection deficiencies identified by the PCAOB. 

“These alerts reflect the public company auditing profession’s strong commitment to continuously strengthening audit quality,” said CAQ Executive Director Cindy Fornelli in a statement. “As risks and regulatory priorities evolve, the CAQ will continue to update these resources regularly for the benefit of our members and others.”

CAQ Comments on PCAOB AQIs Concept Release 

Audit committees and auditors could use audit quality indicators (AQIs) to help promote and enhance their dialogue and focus on audit quality, wrote the CAQ in a comment letter to the PCAOB filed at the end of September. The CAQ submitted the letter in response to the PCAOB’s concept release on AQIs, unveiled in July. 

Catherine M. Engelbert, CEO of Deloitte LLPIn its letter, the CAQ extensively discussed its 2014 paper, the CAQ Approach to Audit Quality Indicators, and the subsequent pilot testing of the approach, which involved 10 audit firms and 30 issuers. Says the letter: “The results of the pilot testing confirmed that: (1) audit committees value engagement-level AQIs and are an appropriate audience for such indicators; (2) the two-way communication that is uniquely available to the audit committee and the audit engagement team provides a mechanism to receive the necessary context to evaluate and interpret AQIs; and (3) use and reporting of AQIs should be voluntary and flexible to allow audit committees and auditors to tailor them to their particular facts and circumstances.”

Adams, Agoglia Appear on “Profession in Focus”

The CAQ added two new episodes to its “Profession in Focus” video series. Joseph M. Adams, CAQ Governing Board Vice Chair and Managing Partner and CEO at RSM US LLP (formerly McGladrey LLP), and Christopher P. Agoglia, Department Chair & Richard Simpson Endowed Professor of Accounting at the University of Massachusetts’ Isenberg School of Management, each joined CAQ Executive Director Cindy Fornelli for a conversation on developments in the public company auditing profession.

Profession in FocusIn his interview, Adams shared thoughts on attracting the best and brightest talent to public company auditing profession, including drivers of change, misconceptions, and key messages that younger people need to hear. “We have to be a champion of our profession,” he said, adding that its “opportunities are broad and endless.”

For his part, Agoglia discussed Access to Audit Personnel, a joint program created by the CAQ and the Auditing Section of the American Accounting Association. Agoglia provided insights on the benefits of the program, which enables academics to obtain access to audit firm personnel for research projects, as well as tips for academics interested in submitting research proposals for it.