PCAOB Launches Registration System for Public Accounting Firms

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board today launched its registration system for public accounting firms and set the fees that will cover the costs of processing and reviewing the registration applications.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the Board's rules require the registration of all public accounting firms that issue or prepare audit reports on U.S. public companies, or that play a substantial role in the preparation of such audit reports. Beginning on Oct. 22, 2003, U.S. public accounting firms must be registered with the Board in order to engage in that work.

Public accounting firms that wish to apply for registration must do so by completing and submitting Form 1, available to qualified applicants through the Board's Web site at www.pcaobus.org. The PCAOB expects to be able to receive the forms electronically beginning in early August.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act also directs the PCAOB to "assess and collect a registration fee … from each public accounting firm, in amounts that are sufficient to cover the costs of processing and reviewing applications…." Based on the volume of applications that the Board expects to receive before Oct. 22, 2003, the Board has set the fees to be assessed and collected from firms that file registration applications.

The fee schedule is tiered according to the number of issuer clients for which an accounting firm performed audits in the preceding fiscal year, as represented in the firm's application.

Issuer Clients Fee
0 $250
1-49 $500
50-100 $3,000
101-1000 $29,000
1001 and up $390,000