From the October 2011 issue of Treasury & Risk magazine

PCAOB Aims to Encourage More Analysis in Audit Letter

Auditors warn the changes could confuse investors, rather than help them.

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has proposed revising the auditor’s report that appears at the end of public company financial statements in an effort to make it less of a pass-fail exercise.

A study by the American Accounting Association (AAA) suggests the current audit letter is basically a rubber stamp. In one survey, 53,834, or 62%, of the auditors’ reports examined were unqualified, 32,337, or 37%, were unqualified with emphasis on a matter, and only 32, or 0.04%, were either qualified, adverse or no opinion. The AAA’s comment letter on the proposed change described the reports as mostly “standard or ‘boilerplate’ wording.”


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