The COVID-19 pandemic has led the PCAOB, in an unprecedented move, to grant a delay of audit firm inspections. TO do its part in containing the spread of the coronavirus, the PCAOB is providing up to a 45-day relief period from inspections, which it announced on, March 23, 2020. The PCAOB is suggesting that audit firms reach out to their designated inspections point of contact to discuss the route they are most likely to take.
The Board has noted that COVID-19 presents unique challenges for investors, companies, auditors, as well as regulators. There are two core considerations the Board believes are an integral part to best shape the inspection program during this economic uncertainty: (1) the health and safety of its employees and those they would interact with on a daily basis; and (2) the mission to promote audit quality.
The Board is hopeful that this 45-day pause will grant firms time, resources and flexibility to work through matters associated with this pandemic that, quite frankly, have never been seen before. The Board did note that its employees can continue to remotely review audit documents to prepare for the inspections when they are expected to fully resume on May 11.
Schneider Downs will continue to monitor current developments from the PCAOB. Please contact your Schneider Downs representative with any questions.
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