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PCAOB Publishes Staff Audit Practice Alert on Improper Alteration of Audit Documents

  • Regulations - PCAOB Image

Apr 21, 2016

On April 21, 2016, the Staff of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) published a "Staff Audit Practice Alert" reflecting PCAOB staff concerns about auditors improperly altering audit documentation in connection with a PCAOB inspection or investigation.

In the past several years, the Board has sanctioned firms and individuals for improperly deleting, adding, or altering documentation in connection with an inspection or investigation. The sanctions in those cases have included revoking firms' registrations and barring individuals from auditing for registered firms. PCAOB staff has recently seen evidence that such misconduct is continuing to occur.

Recently, PCAOB enforcement staff has uncovered evidence of additional instances of similar misconduct, including evidence that registered firms and associated persons have improperly deleted, added to, or altered audit documentation in connection with Board inspections, and then made the altered documents available to PCAOB inspectors without informing the inspectors of the alterations. In certain instances, evidence indicates that documents were created shortly in advance of, or during, an inspection, backdated, and then made available to PCAOB inspectors without any disclosure of when they were actually created. These recent instances involve both domestic firms and non-U.S. firms, including members of global networks.

Review the press release and the Staff Audit Practice Alert on the PCAOB's Web site.

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