Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB)

Website: www.pcaob.org

The PCAOB is a nonprofit corporation established by Congress to oversee the audits of public companies in order to protect the interests of investors and further the public interest in the preparation of informative, accurate and independent audit reports. The PCAOB also oversees the audits of broker-dealers, including compliance reports filed pursuant to federal securities laws, to promote investor protection.

Recent Developments – Past 90 days


Select News Releases

PCAOB Reproposes Standard to Enhance the Auditor’s Report for Investors with Refined Requirements for Critical Audit Matters
PCAOB - 05/12/2016
The PCAOB is reproposing for public comment the auditor reporting standard, The Auditor's Report on an Audit of Financial Statements When the Auditor Expresses an Unqualified Opinion, and related amendments to certain other PCAOB standards .The PCAOB proposes to enhance the auditor's report to make it more informative for investors by requiring auditors to provide information on critical audit matters.

PCAOB Rules to Improve Transparency by Disclosing Engagement Partner Name and Information about Other Audit Firms are Approved by SEC
PCAOB - 05/10/2016
The PCAOB’s rules to improve the transparency of the audit by disclosing the names of audit engagement partners, as well as information about other firms that participate in the audits, were approved by the SEC.

Staff Audit Practice Alert No. 14: Improper Alteration of Audit Documentation
PCAOB - 04/22/2016
The PCAOB staff published a new Practice Alert which emphasizes that improperly altering audit documentation in connection with a PCAOB inspection or investigation violates PCAOB rules requiring cooperation with the board's oversight activities and can result in disciplinary actions with severe consequences. Improperly altering audit documentation is also inconsistent with an auditor's professional duty to act with integrity and as a gatekeeper in the public securities markets. Evidence identified in connection with certain recent oversight activities has heightened the staff's concern about such misconduct.

PCAOB Releases Staff Inspection Brief Previewing 2015 Inspection Findings
PCAOB - 04/19/2016
PCAOB inspectors found that the overall number of audit deficiencies identified in 2015 decreased compared to the results from 2014. In preliminary 2015 inspection results for annually inspected and triennially inspected firms, the most frequent audit deficiencies continue to be in three key areas:

  • Auditing internal control over financial reporting
  • Assessing and responding to risks of material misstatement
  • Auditing accounting estimates, including fair value measurements

PCAOB Releases Staff Inspection Brief Offering a Preview of Observations from 2015 Inspections of Auditors of Broker-Dealers
PCAOB - 04/19/2016
PCAOB inspectors found deficiencies in the following areas: auditor independence; financial statement audit procedures; audit procedures on the supplemental schedules to the financial statements; the examination of compliance reports and the review of exemption reports under newly applicable PCAOB standards; and engagement quality review.

PCAOB Proposes to Strengthen Requirements for Auditor Supervision of Other Auditors
PCAOB - 04/12/2016
The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board today issued a proposal to strengthen existing requirements and impose a more uniform approach to a lead auditor's supervision of other auditors. The Board requests public comment on its proposal by July 29, 2016.

PCAOB updates standard-setting agenda
PCAOB - 04/07/2016
The PCAOB issued an updated standard-setting agenda, which provides an overview of the board's current standard-setting agenda and outlines key milestones on various standard-setting projects.

Back to top


PwC Comment letters

PwC comments on PCAOB's Audit Quality Indicators concept release
PCAOB - 09/29/15
PwC supports a market-based approach to the communication of audit quality indicators. 

PwC comments on the PCAOB's identification of partner and others on new form
PCAOB - 8/31/2015
PwC is supportive of the proposal in the Supplemental Request to disclose the name of the engagement partner and information about certain other audit participants in a newly created PCAOB form (Form AP), rather than the auditor's report.

PwC comments on the PCAOB's use of specialists paper
PCAOB - 8/4/2015
PwC is supportive of the project but offers recommendations to address what we see as potential practical challenges.

Back to top


Final Rules

All PCAOB rules adopted by the Board and approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission. For the full list of PCAOB bylaws and rules, please visit the PCAOB website.

Improving Transparency Through Disclosure of Engagement Partner and Certain Other Participants in Audits
PCAOB - 12/15/2015
The PCAOB has adopted new rules and related amendments to its auditing standards that will improve transparency regarding the engagement partner and other accounting firms that took part in the audit. The rules will require disclosure of the name of the engagement partner and information about other accounting firms on new PCAOB Form AP, Auditor Reporting of Certain Audit Participants ("Form AP").

Back to top


Proposed Rules

For the full list of PCAOB dockets open for public comment, please visit the PCAOB website.

Proposed Amendments Relating to the Supervision of Audits Involving Other Auditors and Proposed Auditing Standards
PCAOB - 04/12/2016
The PCAOB issued for public comment a proposal to amend its auditing standards to strengthen the requirements that apply to audits that involve accounting firms and individual accountants outside the accounting firm that issues the audit report. The amendments are intended to improve the quality of audits in these circumstances and to align the applicable requirements with the PCAOB's risk-based, supervisory standards. Comments requested by July 29.

Supplemental Request for Comment: Rules to Require Disclosure of Certain Audit Participants on New PCAOB Form
PCAOB - 06/30/2015
The PCAOB is issuing this supplemental request for comment on its 2013 reproposal to require auditors to disclose in the auditor's report the name of the engagement partner and information about certain other participants in the audit. The Board is considering an alternative to disclosure of this information in the auditor's report, whereby the information would be required to be disclosed on a new PCAOB form. This supplemental request for comment seeks commenters' views on disclosure on a new PCAOB form.

Back to top


Select Speeches

For a listing of all speeches visit the PCAOB website.

Statement by James Doty on Reproposed Auditing Standard on the Auditor's Report
PCAOB - 05/12/2016
PCAOB Chairman James R. Doty provided an update on the reproposed auditing standard on the auditor's report, including the desire of investors to have not just a pass-fail opinion, but a better understanding of the judgments that go into an opinion.

Statement by Jay Hanson on Reproposed Auditing Standard on the Auditor's Report
PCAOB - 05/12/2016
PCAOB Board Member Jay Hanson provided a statement on his support of the reproposed auditing standard on the auditor's report. He discussed that his belief that the the reproposed auditing standard strikes a balance between providing investors with information while not imposing on auditors burdensome requirements.

Statement by Jeanette Franzel on Reproposed Auditing Standard on the Auditor's Report
PCAOB - 05/12/2016
PCAOB Board Member Jeanette Franzel provided a statement on her support of the reproposed auditing standard on the auditor's report. She provided a number of reasons, including that the reproposed standard helps to address the usefulness of the auditor's report by dealing with the difference between what investors expect of independent auditors and what auditors deliver.

Statement by Lewis Ferguson on Reproposed Auditing Standard on the Auditor's Report
PCAOB - 05/12/2016
PCAOB Board Member Lewis Ferguson provided a statement on his support of the reproposed auditing standard on the auditor's report. He provided a number of reasons, including shrinking the information gap between auditor's and investors; better clarification and a more sensibly organized auditor's report, and standardizing information concerning auditor tenure.

Statement by Steven Harris on Reproposed Auditing Standard on the Auditor's Report
PCAOB - 05/12/2016
PCAOB Board Member Steven Harris provided a statement on the "modernizing" of the reproposed auditing standard on the auditor's report. Harris supports the reproposal's required additional information about the auditor's independence, tenure and responsibilities for fraud and financial notes.

Back to top