The PCAOB announced today that Thomas Ray, PCAOB Chief Auditor and Director of Professional Standards, will leave the PCAOB March 6 to return to the private sector.
Mr. Ray was one of the PCAOB’s first professional staff, having joined the PCAOB as Deputy Chief Auditor in June 2003, soon after the PCAOB commenced operations. He played a key role in establishing the Office of the Chief Auditor. In February 2006, Mr. Ray was appointed Chief Auditor.
"We are sorry to see Tom leave, but we respect his decision to take on new challenges and opportunities," said Mark Olson, PCAOB Chairman. "He has been a superb member of the PCAOB’s leadership team with a substantial record of achievement. Investors have been well-served by Tom's significant contributions to the PCAOB's mission."
The principal responsibility of the Office of the Chief Auditor is to advise the PCAOB Board members on the establishment of auditing and related professional practice standards. As such, Mr. Ray was actively involved in and oversaw the development of all of the auditing standards developed, proposed and adopted by the Board.
"Being able to help build, and then lead, the PCAOB's standard-setting program, and to contribute to the PCAOB's important mission, has been an honor," said Mr. Ray. "A strong, independent PCAOB is vital to the protection of investors in U.S. public companies and to the quality of the public company auditing profession."
Mr. Ray was instrumental in designing the Board’s auditing standards to implement Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which required public companies, for the first time, to obtain audits of the effectiveness of their internal control over financial reporting. Implementing the internal control auditing standard has resulted in significant benefits to investors including, among other things, enhanced auditor focus on fraud detection.
Another significant auditing standard project in which Mr. Ray played a key role was the development of the suite of seven proposed new standards related to the auditor's assessment of and response to risk in an audit. In addition, Mr. Ray was actively involved in the development of the Board's Ethics and Independence Rules and staff documents issued by the PCAOB, including staff Questions and Answers, and Staff Audit Practice Alerts.
"I believe we have been able to develop strong auditing standards that will serve to protect the public," Mr. Ray said. "I also have had the great pleasure of helping to recruit and work closely with the extraordinarily talented staff of the Office of the Chief Auditor, who deserve great credit for everything we accomplished."
Prior to joining the PCAOB staff, Mr. Ray was a partner with KPMG LLP in their department of professional practice in New York. Prior to joining KPMG, he was director of auditing standards at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He began his public accounting career with Grant Thornton LLP.
Deputy Director Jennifer Rand will serve as Acting Chief Auditor until a permanent appointment is made.