The Board inspects all registered public accounting firms that regularly issue audit reports for public companies and other issuers. The relatively small number of firms that issue audit reports for more than 100 issuers are inspected annually. Other registered firms that regularly issue audit reports for issuers are, in general, inspected at least once every three years. The Board also inspects registered firms that play a substantial role in audits of issuers. Many firms registered with the Board perform no audit work for issuers, and the Board does not inspect those firms.
The Board prepares a report on each inspection it conducts, and a portion of each report is made publicly available when issued. Many reports contain nonpublic content, which may include, among other things, discussion of potential defects in a firm's system of quality control. Any such quality control criticisms remain nonpublic if the firm addresses them to the Board's satisfaction within 12 months after the report date. If a firm fails to satisfactorily address any of the quality control criticisms within 12 months, the portion of the report discussing the particular criticism(s) is made publicly available.