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CAQ Snapshot: October 2018

Friday, October 26, 2018

CAQ and AICPA Raise Cybersecurity Awareness

Throughout October, the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) joined the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) in sharing leading practices, commentary, and resources as part of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Since 2004, in the words of its organizers, the month has been “a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online.”

“Cyber realities can be grim,” writes CAQ Executive Director Cindy Fornelli in an October commentary posted on LinkedIn. “But remember how powerful we can be when we work together to promote sound cybersecurity.” Fornelli cites promising cybersecurity developments, including growing cyber awareness and new tools such as the AICPA’s SOC for Cybersecurity risk management framework. For its part, the AICPA entered the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month discussion with blog posts, podcasts, video interviews, and more.

Catch the Replay: Webcast on Critical Audit Matters

Candy Duncan, Brian Croteau, Barbara Vanich, and Cindy Fornelli

What are critical audit matters (CAMs), and why are they such an important change to the auditor’s reporting model? How will CAMs affect communication among audit committees, management, and auditors—and what you can do now to prepare? These topics and others were discussed during a September 25 webcast hosted by the CAQ and featuring Brian Croteau, audit partner at PwC; Candy Duncan, Independent Director at Discover Financial Services Inc., Teleflex Inc., and FTD Companies Inc.; the CAQ’s Cindy Fornelli; and Barbara Vanich, Acting Director of the Office of the Chief Auditor at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). The webcast replay is available here.


#BuildingaBedrock: CAQ Highlights Disruption

Strategic thinking is key to coping with both the good and bad of disruption, Cindy Fornelli observes in a post for Financial Executive International’s FEI Daily blog. “While the prospect of radical change can be exciting,” she says, “it can also be scary, even for those at the top.”

As an example of effectively addressing disruptive forces, Fornelli highlights the approach of PCAOB. In crafting its recent strategic plan, she notes, the PCAOB’s extensive stakeholder outreach helped it identify important overarching considerations, including the technological shifts that are likely to alter the financial reporting process profoundly.

Fornelli’s post was part of the CAQ’s monthlong thematic focus on “disruption” and how the auditing profession is addressing and embracing transformative change. The CAQ’s theme for November will be “integrity.” Follow along and join the conversation on social media using #BuildingaBedrock.

Profession in Focus Welcomes EY’s Scott Zimmerman

Technological innovation has the promise of unlocking auditors’ potential “right out of the gate,” says EY Partner and innovation expert Scott Zimmerman in an October episode of Profession in Focus. In a conversation with the Catherine Ide, the CAQ’s Managing Director of Professional Practice and Member Services, Zimmerman discusses data analytics, artificial intelligence, and the skill sets and mindsets that auditors will need in a profession facing disruption and transformative change.

Zimmerman suggests that a drastic shift in mindset won’t likely be necessary for today’s auditors and auditing students, who tend to be problem solvers by nature. “They’re just going to have to apply [that mindset] in a little bit different way,” he says.

Join the CAQ at These Upcoming Events

FEI Current Financial Reporting Issues (CFRI) Conference
November 1213; New York, New York
Join Cindy Fornelli and our fellow financial executives at Financial Executive International’s (FEI’s) 37th annual CFRI Conference. Fornelli will moderate a session with PCAOB Board Members Duane DesParte and James Kaiser for a November 12 panel discussion on “The PCAOB: Rethinking Strategy from Top Down.”

ACGA Annual Conference
November 1214; Beijing, China
We look forward to seeing our international governance colleagues at the Asian Corporate Governance Association’s (ACGA’s) 18th Annual Conference and at the Global Public Policy Committee Investor Auditor Roundtable prior to the conference.

NACD Directorship Gala 100
November 28; New York, New York
As a proud sponsor of National Association of Corporate Directors’ (NACD’s) 12th Directorship 100 Gala, the CAQ looks forward to celebrating all the honorees.

Practising Law Institute Directors’ Institute on Corporate Governance
November 29; New York, New York
Cindy Fornelli will speak on a panel, “Audit Committees: The Evolving Role,” with Giles Cohen, Deputy Chief Counsel, Office of the Chief Accountant, Securities and Exchange Commission; James Turley, Audit Committee Chair, Citigroup; and Lori Zyskowski (moderator), Partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. The panel will discuss auditor independence, new accounting standards, cybersecurity risk oversight, and more.

Sustainability Accounting Standards Board Symposium
December 4; New York, New York
Join the discussion on the future of sustainability disclosures and questions about the materiality of sustainability information and its relevance to the capital markets.

AICPA Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments
December 1012; Washington, DC
Cindy Fornelli will help kick off the conference on December 10 with remarks on the state of the public company auditing profession and an update on CAQ activities.