Sarbanes-Oxley compliance may be easier six years after the law was enacted in 2002, and compliance costs may have decreased to a certain extent, but a new report from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board indicates that the top eight accounting firms are still missing the boat in their audits of U.S. companies.
According to Financial Week, the PCAOB found that the audits continue to exhibit weaknesses. The report says:
Deficiencies may stem from weaknesses in training, audit methodology, a firm's monitoring of audit quality and enforcement of its policies and procedures, and the specific quality control areas. In many cases, inadequate supervision and review and failures to apply appropriate professional skepticism were important factors that allowed deficiencies to occur.
No specific audit firm was called out by name, the story says. And while audit deficiencies still exist, there are areas in which the number of deficiencies has decreased. These include such areas as accounts receivable confirmation and income tax account auditing.