The PCAOB's Excellent Guidance on Professional Skepticism

Issued almost three years ago, the PCAOB’s Maintaining and Applying Professional Skepticism in Audits,provides salient guidance on avoiding the barriers that can crimp professional skepticism on audits, the critical touch points in the audit process, and ways to overcome — at times — unconscious bias.  The Alert is, in part, a back-to-basics reminder that the auditor’s objective is to obtain sufficient evidence “to determine whether the financial statements are materially misstated rather than merely looking for evidence that supports management’s assertions.”

If you’ve never read the Alert, or you read it back in 2012 when it was issued, you may want to take a (re-)look; it contains excellent food for thought and can help inform your firm’s efforts to enhance the quality of audits and other attest services.