PCAOB 3: Audit Documentation1

IMPORTANT NOTE: The guidance in this section applies to the preparation and issuance of audit reports for all issuers as defined by the Sarbanes–Oxley Act.


Effective Date This standard currently is effective.
Applicability Engagements conducted pursuant to Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) standards, including an audit of financial statements, an audit of internal control over financial reporting, and a review of interim financial information.


Audit documentation (also referred to as workpapers or working papers). The written record that serves as the basis for the auditor’s conclusions that provide support for the auditor’s representations, whether the representations are contained in the auditor’s report or otherwise. Documentation includes records of the planning and performance of work, procedures performed, evidence obtained, and conclusions reached by the auditor. Such documentation may be in paper form, electronic form, or other media.

Examples of audit documentation include:

  • Memoranda
  • Confirmations
  • Correspondence
  • Schedules
  • Audit programs
  • Representation letters

Documentation completion date. The date the auditor should assemble a complete and final set of audit documentation for retention, which is not more than 45 days after the report release date.

Experienced auditor. An auditor who has a reasonable understanding of audit activities and has studied the entity’s ...

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