Tread Lightly when Assisting your Audit Client with Implementing New Rev Rec Rules

According to Bloomberg BNA, Wesley Bricker, Interim SEC Chief Accountant, and SEC Staff Kevin Stout, cautioned auditors to be mindful of independence restraints when helping clients with implementing the new revenue recognition accounting standard.

The SEC staff shared these comments at the annual conference of Financial Executives International (FEI) in New York on November 15.  The distinction, according to the article (I have not read the speech) was that providing input to clients as they implement the new standard (e.g. via systems and process changes) would be acceptable and beneficial, while managing the client's efforts to do so, or making decisions for the client, would cause them to audit their own work, and therefore impair their independence.

Auditors would be well-advised to tread carefully in this area.