The Role of Valuation Specialists in Audits of Fair Values and Potential for Change under Amended PCAOB Standards
64 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2021 Last revised: 15 Jun 2022
Date Written: June 13, 2022
The PCAOB recently implemented amended standards on the use of valuation specialists. We report interviews with 42 auditors and valuation specialists in which we describe the role of valuation specialists and the problems during fair value audits under the original guidance. We evaluate whether the amended guidance will change practice and mitigate the problems. We find that specialists are more involved in fieldwork relative to planning and completion. Despite changes to communication and review requirements, specialists’ limited role in making conclusions relative to auditors will continue. Our analysis suggests that the changes in standards are unlikely to meaningfully change practice. We expect little change because the amended standards will not increase specialists’ responsibility for outcomes or provide them additional guidance, they will not require auditors to acquire valuation knowledge, and they cannot reduce the inherent uncertainty in fair value settings. These issues underlie many of the problems in this area.
Keywords: Accounting estimates, Auditing, Fair value, Specialist
JEL Classification: M40, M41, M42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation