The PCAOB is a nonprofit corporation established by Congress to oversee the audits of public companies in order to protect investors and the public interest by promoting informative, accurate, and independent audit reports. The PCAOB also oversees the audits of broker-dealers, including compliance reports filed pursuant to federal securities laws, to promote investor protection.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which created the PCAOB, required that auditors of U.S. public companies be subject to external and independent oversight for the first time in history. Previously, the profession was self-regulated.
The five members of the PCAOB Board, including the Chairman, are appointed to staggered five-year terms by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), after consultation with the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Secretary of the Treasury.
The SEC has oversight authority over the PCAOB, including the approval of the Board’s rules, standards, and budget.
The Act established funding for PCAOB activities, primarily through annual fees assessed on public companies in proportion to their market capitalization and on brokers and dealers based on their net capital.