The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) Auditing Standard (AS) 3101 requires auditor’s reports to include the communication of critical audit matters (CAMs). This study investigates the recurrence of CAM topics following the standard’s implementation to determine which CAM topics could be considered recurring, nonrecurring, and intermittent. We provide descriptive evidence that the average number of CAMs reported by auditors decreased over the first three years and then show occurrence patterns for CAM topics during our sample period (June 2019 to June 2022). Using the occurrence rates and the PCAOB’s descriptions in the CAM implementation guidance, we propose a method for classifying CAM topics as recurring, nonrecurring, and intermittent. Based on our proposed CAM topic recurrence categorization, we find that approximately 68 percent of auditor’s reports include at least one recurring CAM topic. Our findings should help practitioners and other financial reporting stakeholders refine expectations for the recurrence of CAMs.

Data Availability: Data are available from the public sources cited in the text.

JEL Classifications: M42; M48.

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