The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has reviewed and approved registration applications from 598 public accounting firms.
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 today, U.S. public accounting firms must be registered with the Board in order to engage in that work.
"Registration is a prerequisite for accounting firms to continue their work as auditors of public companies," said PCAOB Chairman William J. McDonough. "It is also the foundation, established in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, for the PCAOB to perform its important functions of inspection and enforcement."
To facilitate inspection, the PCAOB will establish regional offices in the Atlanta, Dallas and San Francisco areas. Inspectors are currently based in the PCAOB offices in Washington, D.C., and New York City.
"Inspection is one of the strongest tools we have to see that accounting firms fulfill the expectations of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act," McDonough said. "Regular inspections will occur every year for firms with more than 100 audit clients. Other firms will be inspected once every three years. And when the Board thinks circumstances warrant, we can order a special inspection, regardless of timing."
The list of accounting firms now registered with the PCAOB can be found on the Board's Web site, www.pcaobus.org, under Registration.