The PCAOB has released Audit Standard No. 16 - Communications with Audit Committees. This new standard is designed to establishe requirements that enhance the relevance, timeliness, and quality of the communications between the auditor and the audit committee. This new standard supersedes Interim Standards AU sec. 380 (Communication with Audit Committees) and AU sec. 310 (Appointment of the Independent Auditor), the transitional amendments to AU sec. 380, and related amendments to PCAOB standards.
From the new standard, "Auditing Standard No. 16 encourages effective two-way communication between the auditor and the audit committee throughout the audit to assist both parties in understanding matters relevant to the audit. Communications that are tailored to the circumstances and informative, rather than "boiler-plate" or standardized, will enable the auditor and the audit committee to engage in a dialogue that is more likely to benefit both the audit committee, in conducting its oversight responsibilities, and the auditor, in conducting an effective audit. Effective communication between the auditor and the audit committee may involve many forms of communication, such as presentations, charts, written reports, or robust discussions."
It has been submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission for approval, and if approved, will be effective for public company audits of fiscal periods beginning after Dec. 15, 2012.
The Audit Standard can be found here.