PCAOB Reproposes Rule Requiring Engagement Partner To Be Named In Audit Report

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has reproposed for public comment amendments to PCAOB auditing standards that would provide greater transparency into audits of public companies, brokers, and dealers about the engagement partner and certain other participants in the audit.

The reproposed amendments would require disclosure in the auditor’s report of:

  • the name of the engagement partner who led the audit for the most recent period, and
  • the names, locations, and extent of participation (as a percentage of the total audit hours) of other public accounting firms that took part in the audit, and the locations and extent of participation of other persons (whether an individual or a company) not employed by the auditor who performed procedures on the audit.

In October 2011, the Board issued a proposal that, among other things, would have required disclosure of the name of the engagement partner without requiring a signature, as well as disclosure of other participants in the audit.

The Board is reproposing the amendments to seek additional comment on matters such as the usefulness of the information that would be required to be disclosed, the potential costs the reproposed amendments might impose, whether the reproposed amendments would have any effect on competition, and any other aspects of the reproposal. The Board has also made technical changes to the originally proposed requirement that the auditor disclose information about other participants in the audit, such as changing the threshold for disclosure, and seeks commenters’ views on those revisions. Finally, the Board is soliciting commenters’ views regarding whether the reproposed amendments should apply to audits of emerging growth companies, as that term is defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012.