Attestation Update – A&A for CPAs

Technical stuff for CPAs providing attestation services

Posts Tagged ‘audit failure

Summary of disciplinary actions from California Board of Accountancy, Winter 2018

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What you will be doing if you ignore professional standards and then get caught messing up your audits and reviews, although the amount won’t be quite as large. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The new Update newsletter from the California Board of Accountancy goes back to providing details on disciplinary actions. The Winter 2018 edition (#86) takes 20 pages to describe the 24 actions. The previous Update provided far less detail, which generated lots of feedback to the board, so the newsletter will again give the ugly details for the causes for discipline.

Three things jump out at me from the current list of discipline.

First, every action comes with a substantial financial penalty in the form of reimbursing the CBA for their investigative costs.

Second, just about every CPA that got in trouble for audit or review problems was given a ban from performing attestation work until some time in the future when the firm requests and receives permission from CBA to again perform such work.

Third, several CPAs received a suspension from their CPA practice. This means the individual may not perform any actions which would otherwise require a license. I think that means the firm halts all their attestation work and unless also holding an enrolled agent credential ceases their tax compliance work.

Here is my summary of the causes of discipline for the license surrenders and the stayed revocations:

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Written by Jim Ulvog

August 6, 2018, 6:41 am at 6:41 am

Another round of disciplinary actions from California Board of Accountancy

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The firms that make up the following list were not traveling on the above highway. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Starting with the newest Update report for Fall 2017 (#85), the California Board of Accountancy has stopped listing the underlying problem leading to disciplinary action. This means it only took 16 pages to list the 44 actions reported currently. It also seems the CBA is listing actions against firms and the practitioner together.

This means the cringe inducing details are not immediately visible, even though the full disciplinary reports are public records and publicly available. I didn’t bother to take the time to research the reports.

I have tallied the current batch of discipline cases. Underlying problem is inferred by me based on the comments in the newsletter. I haven’t looked up any of the cases or looked up the reg sections cited for discipline. So, with those caveats, here are my inferences of the current disciplinary actions:

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Written by Jim Ulvog

February 7, 2018, 7:45 am at 7:45 am

Common deficiencies in audit engagements

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Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Let’s look at an eight point list of common deficiencies in audits for a quick check of the quality of our engagements. Often times those lists of common deficiencies run for pages and pages, essentially covering just about every major component of an audit. Those kinds of run-on lists don’t really help.

The AICPA’s Audit Risk Alert – General Accounting and Auditing Developments – 2017/18 provides a usable list of eight most common deficiencies identified in the recent peer reviews. Pondering this list provides a good way to do a self-check of your engagements.

Here is my paraphrase of the eight points:

Incorrect dating of the auditor’s report. The report date needs to match the release date which should be after the date all the documentation has been reviewed, the financial statements been prepared, and management has taken responsibility for the financial statements. The risk alert refers to AU-C 700.41.

Inadequate documentation of sampling methodology. AU-C 530 explains how to perform a sample. The methodology must be documented or the reviewer won’t be able to understand why the audit evidence is sufficient.

Insufficient audit documentation. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jim Ulvog

January 23, 2018, 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm

Posted in Audits

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Lots more disciplinary actions from California Board of Accountancy

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Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

It takes thirty-two pages to describe the current round of disciplinary actions from the California Board of Accountancy in the Spring/Summer 2017 edition of the Update newsletter (Issue #84). By my count there are 38 actions, exclude one situation where a firm and the CPA are listed separately.

The overwhelming portion of cases are for CPAs who have an audit or review or compilation failure. Most of those firms also have a peer review problem, either not getting a peer review, failing two consecutive reviews, or getting a very late review.

Just in case you were wondering whether CPAs are regular people with the same, um, foibles as the general population, there were 7 CPAs disciplined for conviction of a crime.

I tallied the results for this edition of Update and came up with these results:

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Written by Jim Ulvog

November 17, 2017, 8:54 am at 8:54 am

Posted in Audits, Peer Review

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A Halloween costume that would make any CPA pass out from fright – an auditor performing one pension plan audit

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Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Amid the cute little kids in their funny costumes, this pleasant Halloween night there was a grown man in a suit at the door asking for candy. White shirt, red tie, gray pinstripe.

Not so scary, thought I.

(Tale of this particular night was originally posted on October 31, 2013.)

“What are you dressed up as?”

“An auditor,” came the reply.

That’s not frightening, since I’ve been an auditor for a long time. But it did explain the standard issue uniform.

So, putting on my peer reviewer hat, I asked, “what audit work do you do?”

“Oh, only one pension plan….

.

.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

October 31, 2017, 8:33 am at 8:33 am

Posted in Audits

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California Board of Accountancy is serious about audit quality and enrollment in peer review.

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Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The Winter 2017 Update newsletter (#83) from the California Board of Accountancy shows that the board is continuing its active efforts on disciplinary actions.

There are obviously quite a few of our colleagues who are not performing up to standards.

I’ve heard stories from a distance that the Board has hired more enforcement staff. As I have read the last few issues of Update, it sure seems to me that the increased staffing is showing up in an increased pace of closed cases. Maybe my perception is off, but it seems there are more cases closed with more serious consequences in the last year or so.

I count 39 cases documented in this edition of Update. Only 2 of these have discipline level of suspension or less. All the others are surrenders, revocations, or stayed revocations. Just as a guess, I think that means the editor of Update is filtering out most of the suspensions.

I count 19 cases of those 39 with peer review problems or audit, review, or compilation failures or some combination thereof. I’ll break that down further:

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Written by Jim Ulvog

September 19, 2017, 7:28 am at 7:28 am

If you have been blowing off Peer Review, you really ought to get with the program.

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Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Seriously, if you are providing audit, review, or compilation services to your clients, you really need to be in the peer review program. And you really, really need to be doing fairly good work. I doubt any CPAs in California who desperately need to read this post will be doing so, but it is still worth mentioning.

The California Board of Accountancy is coming down hard on CPAs who have avoided the peer review program. Seriously missing the boat on audit quality is getting hammered as well.

Quarterly newsletter

The Spring/Summer 2016 edition of the quarterly Update newsletter from CBA, issue 81, has several reports of firms drawing serious sanctions. There are 21 pages of narrative describing the sanctions through April 24, 2016. Of 28 disciplinary issues, 7 deal with peer review, which are the ones I will highlight.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

July 19, 2016, 9:09 am at 9:09 am

Posted in Peer Review

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