October 23, 2018

If You’re Really Big Into Commenting on Five-Year Strategic Plans, the PCAOB Wants to Hear From You

It’s been a slow day around GC HQ, and the weekend is almost here. But before we go, here’s a riveting article on the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s draft of its five-year strategic plan, which is now open for public comment.

In a nutshell, a survey was sent out last April asking investors, auditors, audit committee members, and the like what they thought the PCAOB’s vision and priorities should be now that it has a new chairman and all-new board members. And the board wanted to find out what opportunities were out there to help fulfill its mission of “protecting investors and the public interest through high-quality audit reports.”

The PCAOB’s brain trust and staff also had a chance to weigh in on the board’s strategic planning.

After the survey results were tallied and the feedback was digested, the PCAOB put together a draft of its 2018-2022 strategic plan, which includes the following five goals:

  1. Drive improvement in the quality of audit services through a combination of prevention, detection, deterrence, and remediation.
  2. Anticipate and respond to the changing environment, including emerging technologies and related risks and opportunities.
  3. Enhance transparency and accessibility through proactive stakeholder engagement.
  4. Pursue operational excellence through efficient and effective use of our resources, information, and technology.
  5. Develop, empower, and reward our people to achieve our shared goals.

So, if commenting on five-year strategic plans is your thing, you can provide yours to the PCAOB by Sept. 10, 2018.

Or you could just comment below. Your choice.

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PCAOB: The Rodney Dangerfield of Bureaucracies

pcaob.gif It’s tough being part of a bureaucracy, especially if you’re doing something as glamarous as babysitting auditors. The CIA, FBI, NSA have got it easy. You get to catch bad guys, use guns, and Hollywood makes movies about you. Aside from the warrantless wiretaps and otherwise general big brotherishness, it’s cool.
The PCAOB doesn’t get that luxury. They get to poke around auditors’ work and then tell them how much they suck at it. Not so fun for anybody. They also get to write auditing standards. Take the watchdog aspect, multiply it times infinity, and that’s about the amount fun we’re talking about for writing rules on auditing.
But now people are saying they’re too slow in writing these I-already-want-to-kill-myself boring rules? Yep:

“Given how little they’ve accomplished in the standards-setting area, they don’t get a passing grade,” says Lynn Turner, a former chief accountant for the SEC.
Turner says he and a group of investor advocates wrote to the PCAOB in 2004, asking it to improve fraud standards. But the work remains undone, he says.
Bill Gradison, the board member whose term expires in October, calls the criticism fair. “We’ve been much slower than other standards writers,” he says.
By comparison, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board, which sets international auditing standards, among other duties, finished revising its own standards in March. The process, which included 37 standards, took about five years

Man, now comparisons to the Europeans. They’re looking for some new blood at the PCAOB though, since Mark Olson is retiring as Chairman and another board member’s term is expiring.
But don’t you go calling them lazy! “the PCAOB is taken seriously by the auditing community and deserves credit for trying. ‘Anyone who says it isn’t is off the wall,'”
What a ringing endorsement.

COMPLIANCE WATCH: Oversight Board Sets Sluggish Pace
[WSJ]

PCAOB, We Need to Have a Talk

pcaob.gifPCAOB, we here at Going Concern want to help you get some respect. We really do.
We don’t think it’s fair that people think you’re slow at writing rules for auditors. Okay, maybe you could pick up the pace a little bit but we know that it takes a lot of work and patience to write those rules. But then we heard about this and we want to let you know that we aren’t angry, you’re just letting us down.
Reuters:

The U.S. audit watchdog voted on Thursday to defer its first inspection on 49 foreign auditors in areas such as the European Union, China and Switzerland for up to three years.

Like we said, we’re not mad. We’re disappointed.

US PCAOB delays 1st review of 49 foreign auditors
[Reuters]