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SEC Regulations Committee Highlights – March 24, 2021

The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) SEC Regulations Committee meets periodically with the staff of the SEC to discuss emerging financial reporting issues relating to SEC rules and regulations. The downloadable highlights summarize the issues discussed at the meetings.

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Public Policy and Technical Alert, May 2021

As part of the Center for Audit Quality’s (CAQ) ongoing effort to keep members and stakeholders informed on significant public policy and accounting matters, we are pleased to offer the Public Policy and Technical Alert (PPTA). Each month, the PPTA highlights and examines the regulatory, standard-setting, legislative, and broader financial reporting developments impacting the public company audit […]

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CAQ Alert 2021-01: Auditor and Audit Committee Considerations Relating to Special Purposes Acquisition Company (SPAC) Initial Public Offerings and Mergers

Special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) have been used for decades as a mechanism for private companies to access capital markets. Recently, SPACs exploded in popularity from just 59 SPAC IPOs in 2019 to more than 300 SPAC IPOs in the first few months of 2021. The creation of a SPAC and subsequent merger of a […]

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ESG Reporting and Attestation: A Roadmap for Audit Practitioners

The building blocks of reliable, comparable and relevant environmental, social, and governance (ESG) information begin with a foundation of quality reporting by company management. The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) have teamed up to provide audit practitioners with an overview of ESG reporting and the related risk and legal […]

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IFRS Foundation Exposure Draft Proposed Targeted Amendments to the IFRS Foundation Constitution to Accommodate an International Sustainability Standards Board to Set IFRS Sustainability Standards

In this comment letter, the CAQ  provides views to the International Financial Reporting Standards or “IFRS” Foundation, on the Proposed Targeted Amendments to the IFRS Foundation Constitution to Accommodate an International Sustainability Standards Board to Set IFRS Sustainability Standards.  Broadly, the CAQ is pleased to see the views reached by the Trustees on the establishment […]

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Featured Collections

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).

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Anti-Fraud

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Cybersecurity

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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ICFR

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.

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IFRS

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Sarbanes-Oxley

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).

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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.

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