Review the “Ethics in Action” scenario
Write a paper of not more than 1,050 words in which you answer the following questions:
- Do you think that the creation and work of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has resulted in greater independence of auditors of public companies?
- If auditing of financial statements is required primarily for the protection of public investors, should not all PCAOB members be taken from the investment community that uses audited financial statements?
- What regulatory compliance requirements apply to various business situations?
Cite at least 5 peer-reviewed references.
Ethics in Action
Public Company Accounting Oversight Board
One of the main features of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act (SOX) is the creation of an independent board that oversees the audits of public companies. Congress’s perception was that auditing firms were not sufficiently independent of the public companies they audited due in part to the audit firms’ receiving sizable nonaudit consulting fees from their audit clients. Thus, SOX created a Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). Public accounting firms that audit financial statements of public companies are required to register with PCAOB and submit to its rules. The board is charged with adopting rules establishing auditing, quality control, ethics, and independence standards. It has the power to regulate the nonaudit services that audit firms may perform for their clients. The PCAOB has the power to inspect periodically public accounting firms and to issue reports of the results of the reviews. The purpose of inspections is to assess the degree of compliance with the requirements of SOX, professional auditing standards, and the rules of the PCAOB and the SEC in the performance of audits and the issuance of audit reports of public companies. In addition, the PCAOB may investigate and discipline audit firms and their partners and employees.
The PCAOB is not a federal agency, but a nonprofit corporation with broad regulatory power like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a self-regulatory organization that regulates securities brokers and dealers. It has five members, only two of which may be CPAs. No board member may receive any share of profits or compensation from a public accounting firm.