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Tenure disclosure puts new pressure on audit committees

Tammy Whitehouse | June 12, 2018

Audit reports are beginning to carry some new information meant to make them more informative to investors, including a reference to just how long the same audit firm has been auditing each public company’s books.

Audit experts are advising audit committees to take it for what it’s worth—a piece of information that’s noteworthy, but doesn’t necessarily mean anything all by itself. “It’s a reference point in the overall consideration of audit committee oversight, selection, and retention of the audit relationship,” said Wes Bricker, chief accountant at the Securities and Exchange Commission, at a recent accounting conference.

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board finalized a new standard in 2017 that requires auditors to include a great deal of new information in audit reports. Most significantly, auditors are required to disclose and describe the “...

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