PCAOB Considers New Approach to Agenda-Setting

May 24, 2018

Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) chairman William Duhnke plans to take the organization’s approach to setting its long-term agenda in a new direction. Breaking from his predecessors’ leadership, Duhnke wants to establish a set of benchmarks that will help the PCAOB set its agenda and evaluate the progress made in achieving its mission.

The new direction includes conducting a complete assessment of the PCAOB’s operations. In particular, Duhnke wants the PCAOB’s programs to receive a fresh look and a possible update to their operations. He said the revamped operations should reflect today’s financial markets and the audit profession, not how the markets and profession were when the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was enacted.

Duhnke also wants to determine whether the audit regulator’s inspection work could improve its focus on risky activities, if the PCAOB’s economic analysis and research could help set inspection priorities, and if the board’s inspection process needs to focus more on accounting firms’ management policies that may be causing inadequate audit work. Additionally, the PCAOB chairman requests what other actions his board should take when reporting to Congress, distributing information to public markets, or swapping information with organizations’ audit committees.

According to Duhnke, a draft of the PCAOB’s next strategic plan should arrive by July, and the final version could be issued in November.