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Former PCAOB Chief Auditor Martin Baumann Backs Out of IAASB Gig

Last month, we reported that Martin Baumann, the former chief auditor and director of professional standards at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, was going to be the next chair of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board. But due to “unforeseen personal circumstances,” he’s decided not to take the job.

In a statement, Baumann said:

“I am disappointed that unforeseen personal circumstances will prevent me from taking on this important role. I remain impressed with the public interest work that the IAASB has already achieved and continue to see remarkable opportunities for the future.”

Baumann was appointed to a three-year term as IAASB chair that was supposed to begin Jan. 1, 2019. He would have succeeded Arnold Schilder, who has served as IAASB chairman since January 2009. Schilder’s current term expires at the end of 2018.

Baumann was slated to join the IAASB in late October and work with Schilder to ensure a smooth transition. Now, Schilder told the IAASB that he will stay on through early 2019 to help whoever the new chair is get settled into his or her new position.

So, the IAASB is now back at square one.

Rachel Grimes, president of the International Federation of Accountants, which oversees the IAASB, said:

“It is disappointing that Marty is unable to assume the position, but we are confident that the Interim Nominating Committee will find a similarly well-suited, high-caliber candidate to lead the IAASB into the future.”

After stints with PwC and Freddie Mac, Baumann joined the PCAOB in 2006 and served as director of the Office of Research and Analysis from 2007 to 2009, before becoming chief auditor. During his tenure as chief auditor, the PCAOB released a rule that now requires the disclosure of the audit engagement partner in a public company audit on a new PCAOB form. The board also overhauled the auditor’s report during Baumann’s time as chief auditor.

In addition, Baumann oversaw the creation and adoption of eight new auditing standards that “created a new framework to enhance the effectiveness of the auditor’s assessment of, and response to, the risks of material misstatement in financial statements,” the PCAOB noted.

After the Securities and Exchange Commission brought in a new PCAOB chairman and a whole new board late last year, several high-ranking PCAOB officials—including Baumann; Helen Munter, director of registration and inspections; and Claudius Modesti, director of the PCAOB’s Division of Enforcement and Investigations—ran for the exits. Baumann left the PCAOB in May.

Barbara Vanich was named acting director of the PCAOB Office of Chief Auditor in May.