Current AICPA Guidelines on Prior-Period Audits

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As a way to enhance education, the AICPA has updated the Technical Question and Answer (TQA) with responses to questions dating back from July 2018. The questions stem from the Technical Hotline as well as other platforms where questions have been asked.

While these questions and answers are not from a source of authority, they do provide general guidance. Keep in mind the contents of the updated TQA have not been acted upon by the senior committee officials of the AICPA.

What is the New AICPA Guideline?

AICPA recently revised the TQA to include information about guidance regarding audits and reporting on a business prior-period financial statement. Specifically, the TQA indicates that auditors should use the standards and forms that are in place during the time in which the audit is performed. The one exception to that will be if there are other standards put in place that offer other specific guidance.

Previous auditing standards are considered outdated, and therefore the current auditing standards should take their place. When the audit is performed, only the current guidelines should be considered. This would ensure that audits are streamlined and the same processes will be taking place across the board.

Updates Come at a Good Time

New auditing standards will influence financial statement periods after December 2020. This guideline will ensure that previous financial statements are handled appropriately.

Of note, not only does this new guideline impact auditor reporting, but also financial statement audits as well as employee benefit plants.


While there are no strict regulations requiring this guideline, it is still a beneficial source of information. This could help streamline the process and bring some clarity to how audits are handled now as well as into the future. For more information, individuals can refer to the AICPA Technical Questions and Answers.  

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