EAQ Initiative
​​​​​The Enhancing Audit Quality (EAQ) initiative is a joint undertaking by CPAB and the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.​​

At CPAB's 2011 Audit Quality Symposium, key stakeholders agreed it was important to develop a Canadian perspective on audit quality issues being debated internationally. The goal was to identify solutions to address audit quality concerns and a​dd Canada's voice to the international discussion.

The 2011 symposium prompted CPAB and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (now the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada) to launch the EAQ initiative in 2012.

A blue-chip steering group, chaired by David Brown, CM, QC (former Chair of the Ontario Securities Commission), was formed to exercise an overview function, coordinate the initiative, and make sure the process is transparent and serves the public interest. Working groups were also established to address three priority areas: the auditor reporting model; auditor independence and the role of audit committees. All three working groups have issued consultation papers​ which have added significantly to the audit quality debate in Canada and internationally. A final report​ was issued in May 2013.

 

 
Auditor Reporting Model
This working group, chaired by Mark Davies, FCPA, FCA (Chair, Auditing and Assurance Standards Board) focused on the information value of the auditor's report and on expanded assurance by auditors in parts of Management's Discussion & Analysis (MD&A), quarterly financial statements and other information.

In its consultation paper, the working group recommended including an auditor commentary in the auditor's report because it would provide financial statement users with useful information, and may lead to positive changes to financial statement disclosures and audit quality. CPAB supports this approach and believes investors will benefit from greater insights provided by auditors.
 
Audit Committees
This working group, chaired by Tom O'Neill, FCPA, FCA (Corporate Director, former CEO PwC) examined the reporting relationships among audit committees, management, auditors, audit regulators and shareholders, and how the application of professional skepticism by both audit committees and auditors might best be enhanced and promoted.

Based on feedback received by the audit committee working group and at CPAB's 2012 Audit Quality Symposium, ​ there is support for more guidance and tools to be developed for audit committees to oversee the work of the auditor. In 2013 CPAB will enhance its engagement with audit committees, including communications to help audit committees perform their oversight role more effectively.

Audit committees have also told CPAB the effectiveness of their oversight role can be enhanced with greater transparency of inspection findings. In its consultation paper, the audit committee working group has proposed that CPAB and audit firms, in conjunction with audit committee members, develop a protocol to increase the inspection information available to audit committees. Specifically, the working group discussion paper suggests that audit firms be permitted to share inspection information with their clients' audit committees via a prescribed communications protocol.

CPAB understands and supports the desire for greater transparency. Enhanced transparency in the communication of inspection results, and about the key drivers of audit quality, would help stakeholders in the audit process perform their roles more effectively. That being said, it is essential that transparency be enhanced in a way that preserves the effectiveness of CPAB's regulatory approach and does not create unintended consequences for audit quality or for reporting issuers.

To this end, CPAB is currently working with audit firms and audit committees on a protocol that will strike the appropriate balance, with a view to providing information that will help audit committees fulfill their oversight responsibilities, enhance audit quality and promote a culture of continuous improvement.
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PUBLICATION
2014 Audit Quality Symposium Voting Results

​See how the 2014 Audit Quality Symposium participants voted on key questions relating to audit quality.

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Posted: 20/02/2015
Posted: 20/02/2015 12:00:00 AM

PUBLICATION
Top 10 Questions Audit Committees Should Ask Their Auditors
If you sit on an audit committee, here are CPAB's top 10 questions you should ask your auditor in connection with your 2013 audit.
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Posted: 15/04/2013
Posted: 15/04/2013 12:00:00 AM
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​​​​​​CPAB understands and supports the desire for greater transparency. Enhanced transparency in the communication of inspection results, and about the key drivers of audit quality, would help stakeholders in the audit process perform their roles more effectively. ​​

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