It's Official: SEC Adopts Easier Audit Standard

Lora Bentley

In a 5-0 vote Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved the PCAOB's proposed Auditing Standard No. 5 (AS 5). The standard, according to, "encourages a less-costly approach" to Sarbanes-Oxley 404 compliance.


SEC Chairman Christopher Cox says the new standard

...will make a giant step forward in facilitating a more effective and efficient approach to the implementation of Section 404 by refocusing resources on what truly matters to the integrity of financial statements.

At the same time, however, Commissioner Paul Atkins warned:

Even under this less prescriptive, leaner standard, success is not guaranteed... If this standard is implemented incorrectly, then we will not experience the clean break with the past that AS5 is intended to bring to pass.

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