The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board hosted nearly 100 representatives of auditor oversight bodies from 34 foreign jurisdictions during its seventh annual International Auditor Regulatory Institute that concluded today.
The Institute took place in Washington, DC, on Nov. 18-20, 2013. It provided participants the opportunity to learn in detail about the PCAOB and its ongoing programs. Participants also exchanged views on a variety of audit-related issues that affect the oversight of auditors in the United States and abroad.
"The Institute contributes greatly to deepening our cooperation with other audit regulators from around the world, which serves to enhance important investor protections," said PCAOB Chairman James R. Doty.
The program featured a panel of the PCAOB Board Members, who discussed the PCAOB's current domestic and international priorities and answered questions from the participants. There also were presentations by PCAOB staff on PCAOB operations with respect to registration, inspections, enforcement, and standards; on a PCAOB project on audit quality indicators; and on the subject of professional skepticism and fraud.
Guest speakers included Stephen Haddrill, Chief Executive Officer of the United Kingdom's Financial Reporting Council, who spoke about audit developments in the UK; and Sven Gentner, the Economic and Financial Affairs Counselor for the European Commission, who provided an update on developments in the European Union in the area of audit oversight, including the status of EU audit reform legislation.
Also, Kenneth Yap, Chief Executive of Singapore's Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, spoke about audit regulation from the perspective of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); and Dan Goelzer, a founding Board member of the PCAOB, spoke about the history and evolution of the PCAOB.
For the first time, the program featured a panel discussion with investor representatives, including Richard Breeden, Chairman of Breeden Partners and a former Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission; Jeffrey Mahoney, General Counsel of the Council of Institutional Investors; and Elizabeth Mooney, an analyst with The Capital Group Companies.
The program also included two panels discussing the work of the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR). Comprised of 46 independent audit regulators from around the world, 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 first panel consisted of the current Chair and Vice Chair of IFIAR — PCAOB Board Member Lewis Ferguson and Janine van Diggelen, head of the Audit Firm Oversight Division at the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets, respectively.
The second panel was a discussion about ongoing work in three of IFIAR's Working Groups and included presentations by PCAOB Board Member Steven B. Harris, Chair of the Investor Working Group; Brian Hunt, Chair of the Global Public Policy Committee Working Group and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Public Accountability Board; and Tim Volkmann, Chair of the Inspection Workshops Working Group and Secretary-General of Germany's Auditor Oversight Commission.
"We'd like to thank this year's outstanding speakers and participants — who came from Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East — for making this year's Institute a success," said Bruce Wilson, PCAOB Director of International Affairs. "The PCAOB looks forward to continuing to work closely with our fellow regulators to promote strong audit oversight around the world."
There currently are more than 900 PCAOB-registered audit firms in 83 foreign jurisdictions. The PCAOB established the Institute in 2007 to provide a forum for open discussion among international regulators about approaches to auditor oversight and improvements to audit quality.