PCAOB

SEC Says $50 Million Fine For KPMG Is ‘Significant’ and ‘Appropriate’ For All That Cheating Going On

The SEC made official today the news that Dave Michaels of the Wall Street Journal broke late last week, announcing that KPMG will pay $50 million to settle allegations that former partners “stole the test” by using confidential information that was being fed to them by a PCAOB insider to improve the firm’s performance on […]

$50 Million Fine SEC Is Reportedly Giving KPMG Over PCAOB Scandal Isn’t Big Enough

Dave Michaels of the Wall Street Journal broke some huge news late last night about a huge fine the SEC could levy against KPMG later this month because of several former partners’ involvement in one of the biggest U.S. accounting scandals in recent years—stealing secret audit inspection information from the PCAOB. KPMG LLP is preparing […]

Ex-KPMG Executive Director’s Sentencing Put Off Until June

We won’t know until June at the earliest how much prison time former KPMG executive director Cynthia Holder will get for her involvement in a scheme to steal confidential audit inspection information from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. Holder was supposed to be sentenced in Manhattan federal court on April 5, but her sentencing […]

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KPMG Bermuda’s Head of Ethics Fined By the PCAOB For Being Unethical

Here’s a fun story of what not to do if you’re an ethics director at a Big 4 firm. Damion Henderson, a managing director at KPMG Bermuda, was fined $10,000 by the PCAOB on April 9 for signing off on documents that had been re-created and backdated in advance of a PCAOB inspection and not […]

The Person At the PCAOB Who Auditors Feared the Most Is Now Their Friend

In an interesting turn of events, Claudius Modesti, who was the head enforcer at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board for 14 years before leaving last May, will now be defending audit firms that run afoul of the PCAOB and the Securities and Exchange Commission in his new role with law firm Akin Gump Strauss […]

PCAOB Hands the Keys to Chief Auditor’s Office to Deloitte’s Megan Zietsman

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has been without a full-time chief auditor and director of professional standards since the end of May, when Martin Baumann resigned after spending nine years in that role and 12 years at the PCAOB. For the past six months, Deputy Chief Auditor Barbara Vanich has filled that position on […]

Pair of asses

Deloitte Mexico Auditors Attempt to Phone in Sloppy Audit Work, Fail

The PCAOB has barred, fined, and censured three Deloitte Mexico audit partners for their role in the absolute bamboozle of an audit on Prestaciones Finmart, a Mexican subsidiary of Texas-based EZCORP, Inc. Finmart accounted in FY 2013 and FY 2014 for approximately 21% and 26% of EZCORP’s consolidated assets and approximately 23% and 42% of […]

Former PCAOB Chief Auditor Martin Baumann Backs Out of IAASB Gig

Last month, we reported that Martin Baumann, the former chief auditor and director of professional standards at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, was going to be the next chair of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board. But due to “unforeseen personal circumstances,” he’s decided not to take the job. In a statement, Baumann […]

Ex-KPMG Partner Pleads Guilty to Using Stolen PCAOB Inspection Information

The former national partner-in-charge of inspections at KPMG pled guilty on Oct. 29 for his involvement in a scheme in which the Big 4 firm repeatedly used stolen confidential Public Company Accounting Oversight Board information to cheat the regulatory inspection process. Thomas Whittle, 55, pled guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy charges, pursuant to a […]

Ex-KPMG Executive Director Admits Guilt in PCAOB Inspection Leak Scandal

A former Public Company Accounting Oversight Board inspector-turned-KPMG executive director, who was accused of obtaining confidential information on which KPMG clients’ audits the PCAOB would be reviewing so the Big 4 firm could improve its dismal inspection results, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court on Oct. 16 for her involvement in the scandal. Cynthia Holder, […]

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PCAOB Fines Deloitte Canada $350,000 for Breaking Independence Rules Thrice on Audits of Banro

Deloitte Canada scored a hat trick of sorts on Oct. 16, but I doubt it was celebrated among the firm’s management. The firm was censured and fined $350,000 by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board on Tuesday for failing to maintain independence during its 2012, 2013, and 2014 audits of Canadian gold-mining company Banro Corp. […]

KPMG Adds Retired Four-Star Air Force General to Its One-Star Board of Directors

No, it wasn’t Pope Francis, Malala Yousafzai, or the ghost of Nelson Mandela, as Caleb suggested last April, but KPMG U.S. on Oct. 4 appointed retired Air Force General Janet Wolfenbarger as the firm’s first independent director to its board, nearly nine months after five former KPMG executives were indicted for their roles in an […]

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Those Who Know, Know BDO … Sucks at Auditing

So, the latest PCAOB inspection report of BDO USA is out, and man, it’s bad. You know it’s bad when even KPMG can do better. Well, at least according to the most recent available report, we’re still waiting on the suspiciously absent 2016 KPMG PCAOB inspection report. Anyhoo, back to BDO. They’re no strangers to […]

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 […]

Where, Oh Where, Is KPMG’s 2016 Inspection Report?

KPMG’s 2016 inspection report has still not been published by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, and the PCAOB won’t say why—or if the report will ever see the light of day. Compliance Week reports: The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board published its 2016 inspection results for Deloitte in December 2017 followed by reports for EY […]

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Federal Judge Strikes Down Ex-KPMG Partners’ Request for SEC Evidence Search

If you’re dying to know what’s going on with David Britt, David Middendorf, and Thomas Whittle, the former KPMG partners who are accused of participating in a scandal in which confidential Public Company Accounting Oversight Board inspection information was leaked to the accounting firm, Law360 has an update: A group of former and would-be KPMG auditors […]

PCAOB Told SEC ‘Hold My Drink,’ Went All Enforcement-Crazy on Accountants in 2017

2017 was a banner year for the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board when it came to enforcement actions against accountants. For the Securities and Exchange Commission, not so much. The PCAOB finalized 35 enforcement actions involving “accountants”—otherwise known as CPAs employed by SEC registrants, auditors, and audit firms—last year, up from 28 in 2016, according […]

Broker-Dealer Audits Are Still Sloppy, But Hey, Auditor Independence Violations Are Down, So That’s Something

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board released its report on 2017 inspections of broker-dealer audits on Aug. 20, and once again, there was some disappointing news for those who champion audit quality. According to a PCAOB press release: In this inspection period, the PCAOB inspected 75 audit firms and reviewed portions of 116 audits and […]

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, […]

Michael Stevenson Latest to Bid Adieu to the PCAOB

Another one bites the dust. This time it’s Michael Stevenson, longtime Public Company Accounting Oversight Board deputy general counsel. Stevenson, who joined the PCAOB in 2003, had served as deputy general counsel since March 2007, according to a July 24 PCAOB press release that announced his departure. During that time, Stevenson “provided legal counsel in […]

Setback in Court For Ex-KPMG Execs, As Judge Refuses to Toss Out Counts in PCAOB Inspection Info Leak Case

As Mick Jagger sings, “You can’t always get what you want.” What three former top KPMG executives and two former employees of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board—who are accused of participating in a scheme in which confidential PCAOB inspection information was shared with the accounting firm—wanted was for their conspiracy and wire fraud counts […]

KPMG Used Confidential Inspection Info to Snatch BBVA Away From Rivals, Report Says

If you missed this late last week, Francine McKenna of MarketWatch detailed how KPMG used access to confidential Public Company Accounting Oversight Board inspection information to poach a client from its Big 4 rivals. The client, Spanish bank BBVA, was one of nearly a dozen KPMG clients caught up in the audit inspection scandal. Others […]

Report: Court Documents Name KPMG Audit Clients Caught Up in PCAOB Leak Fiasco

MarketWatch reporter and friend of Going Concern’s, Francine McKenna, wrote an outstanding article today after digging through court documents obtained by MarketWatch that name the audit clients caught up in the KPMG audit inspection conspiracy. And there are some pretty big names. The Justice Department in January brought criminal charges against five former KPMG executives […]

SEC Chief Accountant Wesley Bricker Had Nice Things to Say About Management Accountants

Not that he would really say anything bad about management accountants since he was at the Institute of Management Accountants’ annual conference, but Securities and Exchange Commission Chief Accountant Wesley Bricker threw some bouquets their way during a speech on June 19. From Accounting Today: “As management accountants, your work is vital to the financial […]

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Foreign Affiliates of Big Audit Firms Screwed Up Some Stuff

The Securities and Exchange Commission fined foreign affiliates of BDO, Deloitte, and KPMG for skirting oversight of the PCAOB. Here’s the skinny: According to the SEC’s orders, the Zimbabwe affiliates of Deloitte & Touche and KPMG improperly audited the majority of assets and revenues of a publicly traded company without registering with the PCAOB. The […]

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All the Gory Details From the Indictment of Former KPMG Partners

If you’re not one of the six accountants who was criminally or civilly charged today, then you’re having a good Monday. And if you’re still not convinced, let’s peruse the details from the criminal indictment so you can feel better about yourself. The allegations paint a pretty sad picture of some prominent audit professionals at […]

KPMG partners criminal charges pcaob sec

Former KPMG Employees Learn That Using Confidential PCAOB Inspection Info Has Its Drawbacks

Six former employees of KPMG have been arrested and charged “with conspiring to defraud securities regulators and misuse of confidential auditing information.” These charges stem from the leak of confidential PCAOB inspection information that we learned about last year. The Securities and Exchange Commission also filed civil charges in a parallel action. The 54-page indictment lists […]

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PCAOB Inspection Reports Are Practically Beach Reads Now

Over the years, people have complained — myself included — that PCAOB inspection reports were not exactly useful documents. Sixty-odd pages of audit and legalese don’t exactly make for riveting content. However! In the new EY and PwC inspection reports that were released today, you’ll note executive summaries that list tables for the “Effects of […]

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Grant Thornton Gets Dinged for Giving Partners with Audit Quality Issues More Work

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has announced a big settlement with Grant Thornton over quality control violations and audit failures. The firm was censured and agreed to pay a $1.5 million civil penalty. The quality control violations related to the assignment of two Philadelphia-based partners to audits in 2013 when they had been cited […]

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We Might Have New PCAOB Member Nominees Soon, Someday, Maybe

Just keeping it warm. Dave Michaels reports at The Wall Street Journal that SEC Chairman Jay Clayton’s preferred choice to lead the PCAOB is rumored to be the same person everyone thought it would be: SEC Chairman Jay Clayton wants William Duhnke to become the PCAOB’s next chairman, according to one of the people familiar […]

pcaob inspection reports

PCAOB Inspection Reports Have Been MIA Lately

Here’s something odd that was brought to our attention: @going_concern @PCAOB Why has the PCAOB not posted an inspection report on their website since July? pic.twitter.com/nMZzKFEB0q — Know Your Audience (@csilvey) December 1, 2017 Sure enough, if you cruise the PCAOB’s Firm Inspection Reports page, you’ll find that the last report was for Crowe Horwath’s […]

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PCAOB Giving Big 4’s Legal Services the Stinkeye

PwC announced last month that it was launching a law firm in the U.S. because, honestly, who’s going to stop them? Plus, Deloitte wasn’t going to do it, so someone was bound to snatch up the opportunity. PwC’s U.K. affiliate even put out a report recently that found “law firms are not keeping pace with […]

PCAOB_MEMBERS

The PCAOB Could Look Very Different, Very Soon

Get a good look, people. Anyone interested in becoming a PCAOB member? It sounds like there’s a bunch of change coming, based on the public statement from new SEC Chairman Jay Clayton: I am very pleased that Chairman [James] Doty has agreed to continue to serve as the Chairman of the PCAOB as we commence […]

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PwC’s 2017 to Forget Tour Rolls On

PwC, the Big 4 accounting firm most likely to request a mulligan on 2017, has been censured and fined $1 million by the PCAOB for violations in its audit of Merrill Lynch. The PCAOB order follows a SEC action against Merrill from last year after the broker “held tens of billions of dollars” of customer […]

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Big 4 Audit Quality Hiding in Plain Sight: Restatement Mentions in PCAOB Reports

For the last several years, one very interesting audit quality metric has not been widely reported in the media, and the largest audit firms barely mention it. It has been hiding in plain sight and could be a useful data point to audit committees or investors that are trying to understand the quality of audits. […]

kpmg auditors pcaob partners conspiracy

Six KPMG Employees Fired After Leak of PCAOB Inspection Info

Updates to report that individuals were terminated appear throughout. Welp, this looks bad. The Wall Street Journal reports that six KPMG employees, including four partners and the firm’s head of audit, have been fired after a PCAOB employee leaked confidential inspection details to the firm. The departing KPMG employees include four partners and Scott Marcello, […]

Big 4 Auditors Are Probably Looking Forward to More Amiable PCAOB

Michael Rapoport reports in the Wall Street Journal on the waning James Doty era at the PCAOB and that he will probably exit with unfinished business: Mr. Doty, chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, may only have months left to pursue his wish list, including a change that would require auditors to tell […]

Exposure Drafts: It’s PCAOBeginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Exposure Drafts appears every other Wednesday. Send comments and suggestions to editor@goingconcern.com.

Deloitte’s Brazil Firm Covered Up a Couple of Bad Audits

The big news in the international audit firm world today is an announcement by the PCAOB that Deloitte’s Brazil firm audited badly and then covered up that bad auditing, which is also bad. The whole thing involved a dozen auditors including the Brazil firm’s former Audit Practice Leader, former Risk and Reputation Leader and former […]

The Trump Administration Will Drain the PCAOB Swamp

The election of Donald Trump is likely to transform the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). While the PCAOB is technically a non-partisan private regulator, it will not likely escape Trump’s commitment to drain the swamp. Jim Doty’s term as PCAOB chairman expired in October of 2015. The PCAOB chairman is nominated by the SEC […]

PCAOB Unsure About Motives Behind Audit Firms’ Fancy New Thingamajigs

The Big 4 has been attempting to bring sexy back to auditing for awhile now, with leaders talking about innovation this and technology that, data this and 100% testing that. And that's cool, auditing needed the confidence boost, since advisory's been strutting around getting all the attention for the last decade. So yeah, we've noticed […]

Partner Names: Coming to an Audit Near You in 2017

After nearly seven years since the first concept release, the SEC approved the PCAOB's rules for disclosing the names of audit engagement partners and other participating firms. You can read the entire SEC order if you find the securities regulation apparatus fascinating. Personally, I think it's interesting that another round of comments is allowed prior […]

PCAOB: Just Stop Altering Audit Workpapers Already

Are you an auditor? Do you have any public company clients? Have you recently been notified that the PCAOB will be inspecing the audit of one of those public company clients? Are you now just remembering that you may have left something out of the audit documentation that would definitely get you in trouble with […]

Audit Firm Violates Independence Spectacularly

Has it been awhile since we've discussed an egregious independence violation committed by an audit firm? Yes, I think it has. The drought ends with this PCAOB disciplinary order in the matter of Moss, Krusick & Associates ("MKA") and Joseph M. Krusick, CPA. Krusick was the engagement partner on Credit One Financial, Inc. a company […]

Comp Watch ’16: PCAOB

PCAOB Chairman James Doty had the pleasure of presenting a budget to the SEC today and it probably could've gone better. I'd say that any time you're asking people for money it can be a little nerve-wracking, but this is the federal goverment! There's virtually no chance that you won't offend someone no matter how […]

SEC in No Rush to Make a Decision on PCAOB Chair

SEC Chair Mary Jo White said that she'll wait until two new commissioners are appointed before deciding on whether James Doty will remain the head of the PCAOB. Currently, the SEC only has three commissioners after Dan Gallagher and Luis Aguilar both left last year. But how long do we have to wait?! That all […]

Big 4 Firms Still Getting Used to This Whole Regulation Thing

Sometimes I get the impression that the Big 4 don’t fully appreciate what the PCAOB is supposed to do as a regulator. Now, please don’t confuse “appreciate” with “like.” The Reuters report from yesterday makes it perfectly clear that the firms don’t like what the PCAOB does at all. What’s become obvious, though, is that […]

PCAOB Unanimously Approves Auditor Disclosure Rule

Update below specifies the timing of the rule’s effect. As promised, the PCAOB is dropping its auditor disclosure rule with 9 shopping days left until Christmas. It's been quite a haul as the Board has been working this project since 2008 after the Treasury Department's Advisory Committee on the Accounting Profession recommended that audit partners […]

PCAOB Finally Gonna Vote on Partner Disclosure

The PCAOB announced earlier today that it will hold an open meeting next Tuesday to vote on the disclosure rules for naming the audit partner and other accounting firms that participated in the audit. I'm told that it will be a unanimous approval. With that in mind, it's more than a little bit ironic that […]

What’s On Your Audit Partner Disclosure Wish List?

Earlier this week, we learned about a couple of Grant Thornton audits that were less than perfect. The partner on those engagements, Melissa Koeppel, had a poor track record with four restatements in two years, including the one that resulted from the infamous Koss Corporation fraud. No one outside of Grant Thornton had knowledge of […]

PCAOB Member Wants a Closer Look at Tax Services and Auditor Independence

Last week the PCAOB approved its 2016 budget and also its "strategic plan" through 2019. That might sound like a more potent sleeping aid than tryptophan, but sometimes board members say interesting bits worth sharing and, today, we have some for you. Each of the board members made pretty benign statements — quibbles about the […]

Auditors, PCAOB Earn Attaboys From SEC Chief Accountant

SEC Chief Accountant James Schnurr says that, although "there's room for improvement" audit quality "is getting better" and the PCAOB has "deepened their expertise" and "their inspection process has matured." This explains why we've seen more deficiencies, he says. I'm sure KPMG appreciates the vote of confidence. [AT]

What’s the PCAOB’s Next Move on China?

Earlier this week, we learned that the PCAOB was dealt a blow last month when their negotiations with China fell through. Paul Gillis weighed in earlier today with a grim prognosis: There are no good options left for the PCAOB. Successful short seller attacks indicate that fraud and auditing failures continue to be a problem […]

So Much for the PCAOB Inspecting Audit Firms in China

Welp. After years of negotiation and Chairman Jim Doty saying this past summer that the PCAOB was "very close" to reaching an agreement to inspect audit firms in China, this happened: Last month, a final agreement that would have allowed a U.S. regulator to examine the audits of Chinese companies listed on American stock exchanges […]

Learn All About Being a PCAOB Inspector From the Director Inspections

Awhile back, we solicited questions from you all about what a career at the PCAOB as inspector might be like. It took some time (I blame myself!) but we've managed to get our interview with Helen Munter, the PCAOB's Director of Registration and Inspections pulled together. First, some housekeeping: The Board video-recorded this interview between […]

Reminder: Auditors Can’t Check Their Own Work

A superfecta of PCAOB enforcement orders hit the air yesterday, so let's take a looksee, shall we? Let's start with Turner, Jones and Company, featuring their managing partner Stephen Turner and regular ol' partner Mark Turbyfill. I'll be referring to them collectively as "Turn & Turb" from here on out. Turn & Turb did a […]

More Twists in the Race to Be The Next PCAOB Chairman

John White, a prominent lawyer with Cravath, Swaine & Moore, sits on the PCAOB's Standing Advisory Group. His wife, Mary Jo, chairs the SEC. She, along with the other commissioners, will choose the next PCAOB chair. Some people don't like how that looks: The Center for Effective Government, an advocacy group, said White should step […]

Coming This Christmas: A Final Rule on Audit Partner Disclosure

In an Investor Advisory Group meeting held earlier this week, PCAOB Chairman James Doty said he hoped the third version of the Board's partner naming proposal would be finalized "by the end of the year." That should help the IMA fathom such an "insult to the accounting profession." [CW (Sub. req.)]

‘An Insult to the Accounting Profession’ and Other Highlights From Comments on the PCAOB’s Proposal to Disclose Names of Audit Firm Partners

Yesterday was the deadline for commenting on the PCAOB's concept proposal for disclosing the name of audit partners and "other participants in the audit." If this sounds familiar, it's because this was Plan C from the PCAOB (fourth round of comments) on this proposal and, miraculously, audit firms seem willing to live with disclosing partner […]

PCAOB Official Doesn’t Want Anyone To Freak Out But Holy Schnikes, Broker Dealer Audits Are Bad

If you read the PCAOB's press release on its annual inspection of broker-dealer audits, you sense disappointment: For inspections conducted in 2014, PCAOB staff identified independence findings in 26 of the 106 audits selected for inspection, primarily related to assisting with the preparation of financial statements. Twenty of those audits were performed by firms that […]

PwC Out of the Running for This Year’s “Worst Performance By a Big 4 Audit Firm”

The PCAOB, bless their hearts, released a forgettable inspection report from PwC today. The deficiency rate, 29%, is still in the range we're used to, but was lower than last year, so that's something. Michael Rapoport reports that this deficiency rate is better than EY's (36%) but not as good as Deloitte's (21%) and that […]

PCAOB Inspection Report Shows That EY’s Auditing Is Still Bad

Maybe you've noticed, maybe you haven't, but PCAOB inspection reports have loads more information in them than they used to. They have several tables that summarize deficiencies by audit standards, financial statement accounts/audit areas and industry. They also throw in pie charts to show the breakdown of the industries and revenues ranges of the companies […]

PCAOB Going with Plan C for Naming Audit Partners

In a speech given yesterday, PCAOB Chairman James Doty said that the Board will seek comment on a third proposal for naming the lead audit partner. Doty recounts the journey so far, including the concept release that "consider[ed] engagement partner signature in 2009," the proposal for "mere disclosure" in 2011 that they sought comment on […]

PCAOB Was Born That Way

At the Wall Street Journal's CFO Network event yesterday, a nameless CFO asked SEC Division of Corporate Finance, Keith Higgins, “What gives with the PCAOB? Do they really mean to be slow and not transparent?” Although Mr. Higgins acknowledged that, "We've heard that concern," the correct answer is, "Yep! That's how audit firm lobbyists designed it!" […]

Senators Taking Another Crack at Making PCAOB Proceedings Public

Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced a bill in 2011 that would make PCAOB disciplinary proceedings public. Like many bills in this political climate, it went precisely nowhere. Reed and Grassley, not unfamiliar with the excruciating pace of the legislative process, are gonna try to get some momentum behind this idea again […]

What Career Questions Do You Have for the PCAOB’s Director of Inspections?

As we've discussed, it's time for you to look for a new job; yes, even if you're not interested in leaving your current gig. For the auditors out there, you may or may not have considered the possibility of joining the PCAOB. While the mere mention of the Board causes some auditors to fly into […]

The SEC Finally Got Around to Sanctioning Big 4 Firms in China

The SEC has been pretty busy lately, what with tongue-lashing the PCAOB about their duties and all. But somehow they found time in their busy schedule to get around to that whole sanctioning Big 4 affiliates in China thing: The Securities and Exchange Commission today imposed sanctions against four China-based accounting firms that had refused […]

SEC Tired of Telling the PCAOB How to Do Their Job

Colin buried this one in ANR this morning but let's trot it out into the light where it belongs. Michael Rapoport writes for the Wall Street Journal: Renewing criticisms from December, SEC officials said the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board should be focusing on enacting rules governing the nitty-gritty of how auditors do their jobs. […]

Going Concern Presents: The Worst of Auditing 2014

Another day, another "year in review best of" list. Except this list is actually the "worst of" 2014. It's been an exciting year for auditing. PCAOB inspection rates were some of the worst to date, and then there was that whole thing where an audit partner was banging the Chief Accounting Officer at the client's. […]

Duh of the Day: Consulting Work by Audit Firms Could Possibly Impair Audit Integrity

The rise of non-audit services offered by accounting firms could threaten the quality and integrity of independent audits, said Steven Harris, a key member of the government’s watchdog agency. Although the Securities and Exchange Commission has limits on the kinds of consulting and advisory work audit firms can perform for their clients, that line may […]

Let’s Speculate Wildly as to Why the PCAOB Delayed Its Budget Meeting

So, this happened: The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board today announced that it is postponing consideration of its budget for the 2015 fiscal year and the related strategic plan.  The Open Meeting for Thursday, November 20, is cancelled. Action on the budget and related strategic plan will be rescheduled later this month. Section 109(b) of […]

PCAOB Says Audit Failures Are No Longer Audit Failures

So, today, this happened: Hanson says the PCAOB has moved away from using the phrase "audit failures" in the boilerplate parts of its inspection reports. #FEICFRI14 — Accounting Today (@AccountingToday) November 18, 2014 You'll recall earlier this year, we pointed out new-ish language in PCAOB inspection reports that clarifies the definition of an audit deficiency. […]

The PCAOB May or May Not Be Trying to Stir the Pot

Edith Orenstein wondered out loud yesterday on FEI if the PCAOB is returning to its activist agenda of yore. Short of Jim Doty occupying the audit room with a bullhorn and a sign, what exactly does an "activist" PCAOB look like? She writes: Although the PCAOB dropped its proposal for audit firm rotation, the audit […]

The PCAOB Is Considering Naming Partners In a Separate Partner Naming Form

We're still on this, apparently, and the PCAOB isn't letting up. In an attempt to satisfy stakeholders, curious accounting tabloids, and industry lobbying groups and the firms they serve, the PCAOB is floating the idea of a new form that exists solely for the purpose of naming partners. "Form 5" would be filed shortly after […]

Save the Date: PCAOB Investor Advisory Group meeting October 20

This just in! The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board today announced that it will hold a meeting of its Investor Advisory Group on Wednesday, October 20, 2014. Topics that the IAG will present to the Board include: ·         The audit firm business model and incentives ·         How to improve audit quality and the relevancy of […]

Let’s Argue Over the Best Place to Put Audit Partners’ Names on Reports

You may have noticed an important article Colin shared in ANR this morning, one which explains the most contentious issue in accounting today (besides the GC most overrated list). From Michael Rapoport over at the Wall Street Journal: The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the government's audit regulator, expects to give final approval in the […]

PCAOB Issues Staff Audit Alert on Auditing Revenue Because Auditors Suck at Auditing Revenue

The PCAOB would like to see auditors get better at a lot of things; showing their work, testing controls, auditing in general. In particular, they would like to see auditors get better at auditing revenue because revenue is so dang important to the big picture here, people. "Revenue is one of the largest accounts in […]

The PCAOB Has a Few Specific Criticisms for Auditors But Faith in Them Regardless

The Journal of Accountancy interviewed PCAOB board members Jay Hanson and Lewis Ferguson for a piece in its September issue and the conversation is surprisingly candid. For example, Ferguson totally gets that auditors are sick of the PCAOB's alleged moving target, but has faith these auditors will appease their regulatory overlords anyway: "I’m not aware […]

The PCAOB Has Added Some Interesting New Language to Inspection Reports

While we were ragging on EY yesterday for taking it up the AS5 from the PCAOB, we happened to notice some interesting new language in the inspection report. Now, this is not surprising as the PCAOB clarifies itself often, but let's see what you think about this: Certain of the deficiencies identified were of such […]

Audit Partners Will Definitely Be Named, We Just Don’t Know Where or How

This from ProPublica: In a letter dated August 15, Jeff Mahoney, the general counsel for the Council of Institutional Investors, a nonprofit that represents investment organizations with more than $3 trillion in assets under management, wrote, "to express our surprise and disappointment in the report earlier this week in the New York Times that the […]

According to This, Audit Partner Naming Is No Longer on the PCAOB’s To Do List

We found an interesting bit in a DealBook piece about Mary Jo White's impotent SEC we felt would be important to share with you: On yet another front, the S.E.C. is embroiled in a quiet battle with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the accounting industry regulator created after the Enron-era scandals. The accounting board […]

The PCAOB Hopes To Check Audit Partner Naming Off Its To Do List This Year

The PCAOB has plenty to do, not least of which protecting the investing public and making sure those pesky auditors check the right boxes in their pursuit of passable audits. But now we have an idea what, specifically, they're working on through the end of the year. Forgive the screenshot, cutting and pasting from a […]

PCAOB Settles With PwC Partner Who Screwed Up the ArthroCare Audit

Let this case serve as a lesson to all partners in charge: if you don't do good audits, you will be bankrupted and sent to prison for criminally negligent auditing. Oh wait, no you won't. Carry on: The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board today announced a settled disciplinary order against Randall A. Stone, CPA, of […]

Auditors Tell PCAOB They’d Rather Not Report on the Already Reported On

Back in August of 2013, the PCAOB floated a few new auditing standards that would bring major changes to audit reports: The Auditor's Report on an Audit of Financial Statements When the Auditor Expresses an Unqualified Opinion, which would supersede portions of AU sec. 508, Reports on Audited Financial Statements, and The Auditor's Responsibilities Regarding […]

Grant Thornton Fails to Take Up the PCAOB’s Offer to Get Better at Auditing

The good news for Grant Thornton is that they managed to take remedial actions related to their 2010 inspection report and addressed criticisms to the satisfaction of the PCAOB. Cheers!  The bad news is that the same cannot be said for their 2008 and 2009 reports. The quality control remediation process is basically a way […]

PCAOB Adopts Auditing Standard No. 18: Crony Disclosures

Let us welcome into the world a new auditing standard:

Some Companies Unsure About This New COSO Internal Control Framework

Some dates are not set in stone, like the day of the week I decide to clean the cat fountain or change my sheets. Others, like the day I need to pay my rent and the fiscal year-end on or after December 15, 2014 are not so variable. When it comes to COSO's new 2013 […]

PCAOB: Audit Firms Missing the Point of Auditing

Audit firms are still having some trouble pleasing the audit overlords at the PCAOB — particularly with Auditing Standard No. 5. ICFR is the new WTF, though the PCAOB sees audit firms making progress. Unfortunately, the firms are also kinda missing the point of this whole exercise. Compliance Week has the details: The next round […]

The PCAOB Has a Flickr and It’s Everything You’d Expect it to Be

Earlier today when I was pulling a press release off my fifth most visited website after GC, the Daily Mail, Facebook, and perhaps a tube that shall remain unnamed, I noticed the fancy little icons at the top of the page letting me know that the PCAOB has a Flickr account. Perplexed, I immediately gchatted […]

The PCAOB Is Looking For a Few Good SAGs

Full press release is below as we don't care enough about this to spend an hour rewriting it: Washington, DC, May 1, 2014 — The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board is soliciting nominations for its Standing Advisory Group (SAG) for the 2015-2017 three-year term. The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2014. The Board is […]

Per PCAOB Board Member, Facebook Will Not Sufficiently Prepare You As an Auditor

"For new accountants, the focus on documentation can be a difficult transition — the world of texting, Facebook postings, and tweeting may not fully prepare you. And, of course, communication skills are important even beyond the accountant's documentation of audit procedures. Being able to express yourself effectively is key to your relationships with your co-workers […]

If China Won’t Play, the PCAOB Will Find Someone Else to Play With

Keep holding out, China, the PCAOB don't need to check your stinkin' work anyway: Washington, DC, March 31, 2014 — The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board today announced that it has entered into a cooperative agreement with the Supervisory Board of Public Accountants (RN) of Sweden relating to the oversight of audit firms subject to […]

Save the Date: PCAOB April Public Meeting on the Auditor’s Reporting Model Proposal

The PCAOB is preparing for its April 2-3 public meeting this week, and while I really wanted an excuse to spend two days in Washington trolling the PCAOB IRL, I decided catching the webcast from the comfort of my Lovesac in my pajamas was a much better decision. The panelists aren't much to write home […]

One Guy at the PCAOB Thinks the PCAOB Should Consider Its Language

Aha! Pointy-headed professors aren't the only ones who think the PCAOB's use of the term "audit failure" is totally dramatic and possibly unnecessary. From the JofA: The PCAOB’s use of the term “audit failure” in its inspection reports of audit firms appears to have caused confusion and misunderstanding about the severity of inspection findings among […]

Per the PCAOB, Being Registered with the PCAOB Isn’t the Same as Being Scrutinized by the PCAOB

For some of you, being subject to PCAOB inspection is easily the worst part of your miserable life. For others, simply registering with the PCAOB can lend the kind of automatic credibility shitty restaurants get by slapping a "People Love Us on Yelp" sticker in the window. Imagine boasting you are "PCAOB-registered" without never having […]

Is the PCAOB’s “Audit Failure” Rate Really a Little Dramatic?

Here's the deal. Last week, Mark Peecher and Ira Solomon published an opinion piece on CFO.com titled PCAOB’s ‘Audit Failure’ Rate Is Highly Suspect. Just so we know these guys might have some idea what they are talking about, Mark teaches accounting at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Ira is dean of the A. […]

The PCAOB’s Valentine’s Day Gift to Us is More Time to Comment on Partner Naming

Compliance Week has our friendly reminder that if you have something to say about audit partner naming, you better speak now or forever hold your peace: As preparers wrap up their year-end financial reports, they'll have a few extra weeks to make their views known on a proposal to begin naming engagement partners in the […]

Forget Auditor Rotation, the PCAOB Has Bigger Fish to Fry in China

As you know, I sat through the SEC Open Meeting webcast yesterday just to catch the copious number of thank yous, Doty giving the prepared remarks I already had, and the conclusion we all knew the SEC would come to, which was approving the 2014 PCAOB budget. BOR-ING. Well out of that meeting, everyone seemed […]

Duh of the Day: One in Three Audits Fail, Per the PCAOB

Lodi dodi, we likes to party, we don't cause trouble, we don't bother nobody. This comes from Emily Chasan via CFO Journal: More than one in three audits inspected by the U.S. government’s audit watchdog were so deficient the auditors shouldn’t have signed off, an official said this week. Why do I feel like we […]

Let’s Give Up on the PCAOB But Not on Regulating Auditors

Ed. note: Paul Gillis Ph.D, CPA is a Professor of Accounting at the Guanghua School of Management, Peking University in Beijing, China and co-director of its IMBA program. He is a former member of the PCAOB Standing Advisory Group, he also writes the China Accounting Blog and you can follow him on Twitter. He's not pointy-headed, […]