Does anyone care which partner conducted the audit?

The PCAOB has proposed two changes intended to bring more transparency to public company audits. The proposals are 1) require registered accounting firms to disclose the name of the engagement partner in the audit report and on the PCAOB Annual Report form 2) it would also require disclosure in the audit report of other accounting firms and other persons not employed by the auditor that took part in the audit. I feel that neither of these amendments will actually increase the transparency of an audit. To me, all this does is let financial statement users know who was in-charge of the audit and lets them know who exactly to blame if there is a problem with the audit. It does not bring any additional clarity to what actually went on during the audit or any of the audit findings. I think these proposals are a waste and do not help financial statement users in anyway. If the PCAOB wants to bring more transparency to public company audits, they should make proposals which result in more clarity of audit procedures and findings being discussed in the audit report.
Here’s the article, do you think?

About Mark P. Holtzman

Chair of Accounting Department at Seton Hall University. PhD from The University of Texas at Austin. Worked at Deloitte's New York Office. BSBA from Hofstra University.

One comment

  1. I completely agree with everything Erik said. I really do not see how these two proposals from PCAOB will result in greater audit transparency. Releasing the name of the engagement partner in the audit report will just allow the public knowledge of where to point the finger if something were to go wrong; it will not result in greater transparency. The only beneficial aspect that I can fathom would result from this proposal is that these auditors will use extra caution when issuing the audit report since their name is on it. While this is beneficial to the public because it may increase their confidence in the audit report, it will not do anything to increase their knowledge through transparency.

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