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The Day the Audits Died

128 The Agony - Gethsemane.jpgI will refrain from expressing my opinions on the PCAOB and do my best to keep this neutral, I swear.
Accounting Onion pointed out in 2007 that “more than half of the PCAOB’s inspection resources (> $65 million) are protecting the public against the equivalent of a flea bite on the hindquarters of a bull (market),” meaning a bunch of overpaid auditors are inspecting 1% of public company revenue. 1%! What do we need them for?
More, after the jump

And it gets worse. The PCAOB and SEC have decided as of August 13, 2009 that auditors need a whole lot more on their plates including but not limited to increased disclosures for:
• An audit firm withdrawing an audit report
• Any time a firm’s name is used in an unauthorized manner by an issuer without the firm’s consent
• Any time new hires are brought into the firm with a history of disciplinary sanctions
• Anytime professional licenses are revoked, suspended, or subject to conditions or sanctions.
The last one is my personal favorite. Watch your Ps and Qs out there kids, they’re coming for you.
Let’s hope State Boards of Accountancy aren’t as broke as the states they belong to (this means you, California BoA, with your 3 furlough Fridays a month and ELEVEN WEEK WAITING TIME to process CPA exam applications!) otherwise there might be monetary incentive for state licensure authorities to put more bad accountants in the back of their monthly pub just so firms can avoid as many of these reports as possible.
As of October 12, 2009, firms will be required to make these reports to the PCAOB, who will then disseminate the information to the unwashed masses as it sees fit.
The same PCAOB of which Skeptical CPA speaks so highly on June 4, 2009:

Another PCAOB triumph. Does the PCAOB think say KPMG is unaware of problems at Citigroup? Or is the PCAOB aware that it is? How can anyone take the SEC and PCAOB seriously? Is Spokane more fraud plagued than Wall Street? Or just less well connected? Now if Goldman Sachs moved its offices to Spokane …

Check out the article for the backstory.
The SEC is having trouble seducing accountants to its team because of the competitiveness of PCAOB salaries. So what, let them get the scraps? You hear that, soon-to-be-grads? Why are you at Meet the Firms when you could be off getting wined and dined by the PCAOB? Sounds like fun, right?
The Maryland Association of CPAs’ CPA Success made the new reporting requirements sound much tamer, as if it were just a polite, albeit groundbreaking request from the PCAOB.
Perhaps it is a benign request. But this appears to be a PCAOB power grab to me, not to mention a costly one.
Just my $0.02. Do I have to report that to the PCAOB?