The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board today announced that its rules to improve the transparency of the audit by disclosing the names of audit engagement partners, as well as information about other firms that participate in the audits, were approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Audit firms are required to file with the PCAOB on a new form, Form AP, the name of the engagement partner for all public company audits issued on or after January 31, 2017. Information about other audit firms participating in the audit must be filed for all public company audits issued on or after June 30, 2017.
"Auditing is a profession built on reputation, and one important way investors can assess the quality of an audit is to know who conducted that audit," said PCAOB Chairman James R. Doty. "Form AP will provide that important information to investors."
The information filed on the form will be available through a searchable database where users will be able to search by engagement partner name, by public company or issuer name, and by audit firm to see the engagement partner assigned to an audit.
Database users also will be able to search for the name, location, and extent of participation of other audit firms that participated in the audit.
The PCAOB expects to release shortly staff guidance and other tools for firms to use in implementing the new rules.
The Board adopted the new rules in December 2015.