September 20, 2019

Martin Baumann Found a Job at Another Auditing Standard-Setter With a Five-Letter Acronym

Nearly four months after he left his position of chief auditor and director of professional standards at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), Martin Baumann has a new gig: chair of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB).

Baumann, who was appointed to a three-year term that begins on Jan. 1, 2019, replaces Arnold Schilder, who has served as IAASB chairman since January 2009. Schilder’s current term expires at the end of 2018.

A lot will be expected of Baumann, according to a buzzwordy Sept. 14 IAASB press release announcing his hire:

As Chair, Mr. Baumann will lead the IAASB though an environment of rapid advances in current and emerging technology and changes in the breadth and complexity of information needed by investors and other stakeholders. He will be responsible for leading the finalization and implementation of IAASB’s strategic objectives; actively engaging key stakeholders around the world, including national standard setters, regulators, investors and firms of all sizes; and delivering timely high-quality standards in the public interest.

But Baumann is up for the challenge:

“The IAASB plays a vital role in the world’s capital markets. High-quality professional standards developed in the public interest by the IAASB provide the markets with confidence in the important work done by auditors,” said Mr. Baumann. “I am committed to working tirelessly to ensure the IAASB meets its mandate, and continues to be recognized as a highly-regarded independent organization developing high-quality standards.”

Baumann is no stranger to the IAASB, as he had previously served on the IAASB Consultative Advisory Group.

Some of you may remember Baumann from such roles as partner, global banking leader, and deputy chairman of the Global Financial Services practice at PwC; or as executive vice president of finance and CFO of Freddie Mac. But most of you know him from his time spent at 1666 K Street NW in Washington, DC.

Baumann joined the PCAOB in 2006 and served as director of the Office of Research and Analysis from 2007 to 2009, before becoming chief auditor. During his tenure as chief auditor, the PCAOB released a rule that now requires the disclosure of the audit engagement partner in a public company audit on a new PCAOB form. The board also overhauled the auditor’s report during Baumann’s time as chief auditor.

In addition, Baumann oversaw the creation and adoption of eight new auditing standards that “created a new framework to enhance the effectiveness of the auditor’s assessment of, and response to, the risks of material misstatement in financial statements,” the PCAOB noted in its “goodbye, Marty” press release last May.

After the Securities and Exchange Commission brought in a new PCAOB chairman and a whole new board late last year, several high-ranking PCAOB officials—including Baumann; Helen Munter, director of registration and inspections; and Claudius Modesti, director of the PCAOB’s Division of Enforcement and Investigations—got up outta there.

Baumann will join the IAASB in late October and work with Schilder to ensure the transition goes smoothly.

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