Companies may eventually face new procedures and documentation in their external audits—all, of course, potentially driving up costs—as auditors begin digesting an onslaught of new requirements for assessing and responding to risk.

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board recently churned out a whopping eight new standards giving auditors detailed instructions on how to assess the risk of material misstatement in financial statements, how to respond to those risks, and how to evaluate the ultimate conclusions of the audit. The standards must be approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission before they go into effect, but the PCAOB expects that to ...