PCAOB Concludes Fifth Annual International Institute
36 Countries Participated

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board yesterday concluded its fifth annual International Auditor Regulatory Institute.

Seventy-seven representatives of auditor oversight bodies and government agencies from 36 countries convened in Washington, D.C., to exchange views on issues that have an impact upon the oversight of auditors.  The Institute also afforded participants the opportunity to learn more about PCAOB programs.

“In light of the current global financial climate, it is particularly valuable for regulators to meet to discuss key issues relating to the oversight of audit firms around the world,” said PCAOB Chairman James R. Doty.

“The PCAOB benefits greatly from the dialogue with our international colleagues.  In addition, the PCAOB’s ability to conduct inspections in an increasing number of foreign jurisdictions provides us with unique insight into the common challenges facing audit regulators,” he added.

The Institute, which took place over two days, included a panel of senior audit regulators from Canada, France, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. 

In addition, based on positive feedback from last year’s participants, PCAOB inspectors again conducted an interactive session on inspection case studies.  Participants also heard about the structure of PCAOB audit oversight programs, international inspection considerations, and current topics in enforcement and standard setting.

The keynote address was delivered by Senator Paul Sarbanes, co-sponsor of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.  The Sarbanes-Oxley Act created the PCAOB and spurred the creation of similar organizations in dozens of other countries.  In his address, Senator Sarbanes provided his perspective on the challenges of audit oversight as the 10th anniversary of this landmark legislation approaches.

“We were extremely fortunate to have Senator Sarbanes speak at the Institute this year,” said Rhonda Schnare, PCAOB Director of International Affairs.  “He, along with our distinguished panelists, provided invaluable insights for all regulators to consider during these challenging times.”

As of October 2011, more than 900 audit firms from 88 jurisdictions outside the United States are currently registered with the PCAOB.  Now in its ninth year of operation, the PCAOB established the Institute in 2007 to provide a forum for open discussion among regulators around the world about approaches to auditor oversight and improvements to audit quality.