August 15, 2022

The PCAOB Hasn’t Done a Lot With Audit Standards in the Last 20 Years But They’re Getting Around to It Now

From remarks delivered yesterday by PCAOB Chair Erica Y. Williams at a virtual event hosted by Council on Institutional Investors (CII) on the 20th anniversary of Sarbanes-Oxley and the establishment of the PCAOB:

When the PCAOB was first getting off the ground in 2003, it adopted existing standards that had been set by the auditing profession on what was intended to be an interim basis.

Twenty years later, far too many of those interim standards remain unchanged.

The world has changed since 2003. And our standards must adapt to keep up with developments in auditing and the capital markets.

Our current short-term and mid-term projects will address more than half of the remaining interim standards from 2003.

OK, maybe the PCAOB has done some stuff. Like:

  • Registered over 3,800 audit firms,
  • Completed more than 4,300 firm inspections in 55 countries – reviewing more than 15,000 audits of public companies and over 1,000 broker-dealer engagements,
  • Issued more than 330 settled orders, and
  • Sanctioned more than 230 firms and 270 individuals.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in a webinar co-hosted by the Center for Audit Quality earlier this week he hopes “we can make some progress [on auditing standards] before Sarbanes-Oxley can legally drink.”

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