Auditor´s Use of the Work of Specialists

July 2, 2019

Published: PCAOB

What was changed?

Published: PCAOB

The amendments adopted by the Board strengthen the requirements for evaluating the work of a company’s specialist, whether employed or engaged by the company. They are designed to increase audit attention in areas where a specialist is used and to align the applicable requirements with the PCAOB’s risk assessment standards.

The amendments also apply a supervisory approach to both auditor-employed and auditor-engaged specialists. 

The Board amended two existing auditing standards, AS 1105, Audit Evidence, and AS 1201, Supervision of the Audit Engagement. The Board retitled and replaced AS 1210, Using the Work of a Specialist, with a new AS 1210, Using the Work of an Auditor-Engaged Specialist.

Why did the PCAOB adopt this standard?

The use of the work of specialists continues to increase in both frequency and significance. If a specialist’s work is not properly overseen or evaluated by the auditor, there may be a heightened risk that the auditor’s work will not be sufficient to detect a material misstatement in accounting estimates.

The amendments are also designed to be risk-based and scalable so that the auditor’s work to evaluate the specialist’s work is commensurate with the risk of material misstatement.

These amendments should lead to more uniformly rigorous practices among audit firms of all sizes and enhance audit quality and the credibility of information provided in financial statements.

What are the effective dates?

The amendments are effective for audits of fiscal years ending on or after December 15, 2020.


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