The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board today announced that Board Member Lewis H. Ferguson has been elected Chair of the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR) during the organization's plenary meeting held in the Netherlands on April 15-17, 2013.
As Chair, he will serve a two-year term that will expire in April 2015. Since March 2012, he served as Vice Chair of the organization.
"One of the ways the PCAOB shares experiences and its knowledge with other audit regulators is through its work in IFIAR," Chairman Ferguson said.
"An organization like IFIAR is important because it provides individual regulators a better view of the global landscape of audit practice and financial reporting. The United States has come to play a leadership role in the international group, and I am honored to be elected its next Chair," he said.
Janine van Diggelen, Head of Audit Firm Oversight at the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets, was elected Vice Chair for a two-year term at the IFIAR plenary meeting.
IFIAR, comprised of 46 independent audit regulators from around the world, also agreed to a work plan for Chairman Ferguson's term and charter revisions designed, in part, to facilitate IFIAR's role as a global leader in audit quality through comments on standards and through interaction with international organizations.
The work plan also emphasizes IFIAR's thought leadership and a plan to focus on an examination of measures of audit quality, and of how the governance structures and business models of large auditing networks contribute to, or detract from, audit quality.
The two-year plan and charter revisions also include outreach plans to assist non-member audit regulators who seek to develop their independence and qualifications for membership, as well as increase their exposure to IFIAR.
More details and meeting highlights of the IFIAR April plenary meeting can be found on the group's website, www.ifiar.org.
IFIAR also agreed to conduct a second survey of members' inspection findings in 2013. The group released its inaugural global survey of audit inspection findings in December 2012, which can be found on the IFIAR website.
Additionally, the work plan proposes the establishment of an Enforcement Working Group to assist with cooperation and information sharing on enforcement issues. IFIAR currently has working groups that focus on specific issues such as standard setting, investor concerns, and inspection training.
Another working group, the Global Public Policy Committee, coordinates IFIAR's dialogue with the six largest global network audit firms.
PCAOB Board Member Steven B. Harris is Chair of the IFIAR Investor Working Group, which is responsible for organizing IFIAR's dialogue with representatives of the investor community.
IFIAR was formed in September 2006 to provide a forum for regulators to share knowledge of the audit market environment and the practical experience gained from their independent audit regulatory activity.
The group's , which includes brief summaries and highlights of IFIAR members' activities and developments in audit regulation in their jurisdictions, is available on the IFIAR website.