The PCAOB Is Considering Naming Partners In a Separate Partner Naming Form

We're still on this, apparently, and the PCAOB isn't letting up. In an attempt to satisfy stakeholders, curious accounting tabloids, and industry lobbying groups and the firms they serve, the PCAOB is floating the idea of a new form that exists solely for the purpose of naming partners. "Form 5" would be filed shortly after the company's 10-K — so the information would be out there, just not so out there that it's in the auditor's report.

The Journal of Accountancy reports:

The PCAOB may consider a different mechanism for disclosing the name of the engagement partner after a proposal last year raised significant objections from the accounting profession.

Some investors have told the PCAOB that placing the name of the principal partner for engagements in public company audit reports would allow financial statement users to research meaningful information about engagement partners and their track records. But some in the accounting profession have said naming the engagement partner would not improve audit quality or provide useful information.

PCAOB Chairman James Doty plans to ask the board to approve a supplemental request for public comment on a new form that would be created solely for the purpose of naming the engagement partner and other firms participating in the audit, PCAOB Public Affairs Director Colleen Brennan said Wednesday.

The CAQ seems happy about this:

“The CAQ is encouraged by reports that the PCAOB could seek additional input from key stakeholders on engagement partner identification, and that the board is exploring an alternative to including this information in the auditor's report,” Fornelli said in a statement. “While we broadly support enhancing transparency into the audit, the CAQ maintains that the auditor's report is not the most sensible place to include this information, given legal consent issues that could arise.”

This also means the PCAOB's all important standard setting agenda has changed up a little, as the board will be seeking additional comment on this new idea.

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