AICPA Suggests Changes to GAO’s Yellow Book Exposure Draft

July 20, 2017

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) issued a comment letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on July 6 on proposed revisions to Government Auditing Standards (also referred to as the Yellow Book).  The Exposure Draft (ED), Government Auditing Standards 2017 Exposure Draft, suggests changes to the current Yellow Book (issued in 2011) for developments in the auditing, accountability and financial management professions, as well as in the specific areas of independence, peer review and competency, among others.

The AICPA’s letter responds to the ED’s “Questions for Commenters” and includes other comments and recommendations.  It expresses appreciation for GAO’s ongoing efforts to promote accountability, audit quality, and above all, protecting the public interest.  It also indicates support for many of the proposed changes, particularly those made to clarify the standards and those made to refer directly to certain recognized peer review programs, including the AICPA’s program.

However, the letter also provides GAO with feedback on certain proposed changes that the AICPA believes need further consideration, such as proposed changes to the independence standards relating to financial statement preparation nonaudit services, a new continuing professional education (CPE) requirement and a new auditor responsibility to report “waste,” which is defined in the ED as the act of using or expending resources carelessly, extravagantly, or to no purpose.

See the GAO’s Exposure Draft Comments page to view all comments GAO received on the ED.