PCAOB asks public for input on five-year strategic plan

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is seeking public comment on the preliminary draft of its five-year strategic planthat the US audit regulator published on August 16.

The document explains four goals that the PCAOB has set itself to accomplish from 2022 to 2026 as part of its mission to protect investors. The four objectives are:

  1. Modernization of standards
  2. Improved inspections
  3. Application hardening
  4. Improve organizational effectiveness

“The people we serve are at the heart of everything we do at the PCAOB, and we look forward to hearing from the public as we move forward with our ambitious plan to protect investors,” said the PCAOB Chair. , Erica Williams, in a written statement.

In a webinar last month commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler called the PCAOB “too slow to update auditing standards” that existed before SOX. A day later, at another virtual event celebrating 20 years of SOX, Williams responded to Gensler’s criticism, saying, “Just six months into my tenure, we’re already actively working on updating more than 25 standards in eight standardization projects. And we’re just getting started.

Williams also addressed tougher enforcement at the event, saying the PCAOB “will not hesitate to hold wrongdoers accountable for breaking the rules.”

She added: “We are only halfway through the first year of this new council. We have already more than doubled our average penalties against individuals over the past five years. This includes the largest monetary penalty ever imposed on an individual in a settled case. At the same time, we have increased our average penalties against businesses by more than 65%. Over the past five years, the PCAOB has sanctioned individuals less than half the time and companies only about 86% of the time. This year, it’s 100%.

Comments on the draft plan must be received by September 15 and can be submitted by email to [email protected]; or by mail to the Office of the Secretary, PCAOB, 1666 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006-2803.

All comments are made public and posted on the PCAOB website. Commentators are encouraged, but not required, to provide their name and professional affiliation.

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