Descriptive Evidence from Audit Practice on SAS No. 99 Brainstorming Activities
Current Issues in Auditing
This paper describes how auditors conduct brainstorming sessions to comply with the requirements of SAS No. 99. We gather evidence by interviewing 22 auditors at all personnel levels across seven audit firms (including all of the Big 4 firms) and by observing actual brainstorming sessions. The results reveal how auditors prepare for brainstorming sessions and allow us to describe a typical four-step brainstorming session process. We describe brainstorming group interactions and provide evidence on brainstorming session outcomes in terms of fraud risk assessments, audit plan modifications, and budget modifications. Finally, we report how audit firms encourage professional skepticism during brainstorming.