Friday, March 5, 2010

PCAOB Forums On Small Bus Will Address Emerging Issues

Earlier today, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board announced the 2010 schedule of its Forum on Auditing in the Small Business Environment. The one day forums, offered in various cities, are designed to provide information to, and receive feedback from, small audit firms and auditors of small public companies. (See PCAOB press release.)

When the small business forums were first launched by the PCAOB in 2004, some of the forums included a second day directed at financial executives and audit committee members. The current schedule of one-day forums announced for 2010 are targeted at auditors only.

Emerging Issues To Be Addressed
Emerging issues to be addressed by PCAOB staff at the small business forums will include case studies and discussion topics on:
  • Current economic issues and trends
  • Auditing Standard No. 7, Engagement Quality Review
  • Proposed standards on risk assessment
  • Auditing internal control over financial reporting (ICFR) for non-accelerated filers
  • Information technology issues
  • Future standard-setting priorities
  • Recent implementation of annual and special reporting rules
SEC Staff To Provide Update
According to the PCAOB’s press release: “Staff from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Division of Corporation Finance will provide an update on recent SEC activities and observations of common financial reporting issues facing smaller public companies.”

Information May Be Of Interest To Co's Of All Sizes; Slides Available
Although the small business forums are targeted at small business auditors, information provided at the forums can be of interest to companies of all sizes, including auditors, financial executives, and audit committee members generally, and reference can be made to slides which the PCAOB generally posts on its website following these forums. Useful webpages to bookmark for this information on the PCAOB’s recently updated website include PCAOB’s Featured Issue: Small Business, and PCAOB’s Forums on Auditing In the Small Business Environment.

The SEC website also has resources for small companies, such as SEC Information For Small Business, which includes links to, among other things, Small Business Compliance Guides. See also the slide presentation that accompanied remarks of SEC Division of Corp Fin Chief Accountant Wayne Carnall at the Dec. 2009 AICPA SEC-PCAOB Conference; the slides are entitled: SEC Staff Review of Common Financial Reporting Issues Facing Smaller Issuers, PCAOB Forums on Auditing in the Small Business Environment .

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