In case you missed the thank fest that was today's SEC Open Meeting, the PCAOB showed up to get its 2014 budget of $258.4 million approved by the Commission after everyone went around the room and thanked one another for their hard work for capital markets. Repeatedly.
Chairman Jim Doty validated the $12.8 million increase over its 2013 budget by reminding everyone that the PCAOB is providing a vital service oh, and also, is working on a ton of stuff so, you know, it's not like they're going to waste the money on sitting around doing nothing.
The budget increase, according to Doty, "strengthens the PCAOB’s ability to continue to protect investors, and to further the public interest in the preparation of informative, accurate and independent audit reports."
After his prepared remarks, Doty was "grilled" in the way only a guy thanked several times by the people grilling him could be grilled.
On auditor rotation, don't expect the PCAOB to take up that cause any time soon (which we knew). "We don't have an active project or work going on within the Board to move forward on a term limit for auditors. It's not part of the budget." So in other words, drop it. Doty did remind everyone that independence is still super important, which we all knew without the PCAOB needing to budget for telling us that.
The PCAOB is super excited about their Center for Economic Analysis, as is the SEC, because it's probably a good idea for those guys to have economic data of their own to do all that protecting of investors they do. It remains to be seen how that unfolds, so just hold your breath until next year's budget hearing and we'll see how that's going.
And China? Well…
For China, Doty is pretty sure 2014 is the year the PCAOB will finally get to inspectin': "Based on recent discussions," he said, "I am also optimistic that we will be able, during 2014, to sign a long-sought agreement to inspect the audit work of PCAOB-registered firms based in China." When asked by Commissioner Daniel Gallagher how all that is going, Doty reminded everyone that THEY ARE WORKING ON IT and it has been a "long, arduous process for both of us" ALRIGHT, PEOPLE? SO BACK OFF ALREADY.
In response to this, our pal Jim Peterson of re:Balance reminded us via Twitter to "recall that in China it's the year of the horse-shit" [asterisks removed, we can totes swear here, guy].
The SEC moved unanimously to approve the PCAOB's 2014 budget. The webcast just wrapped so obviously there's no archive just yet but if you'd like to catch up later, you can find it here.
See ya next year, guys!