Our Enforcement and Investigations Team

The PCAOB Enforcement and Investigations team enforces the federal securities laws, standards, and rules that auditors are required to follow when auditing public companies, brokers, and dealers. Auditors face real consequences for their violations, including possible censure, monetary penalties, revocation of a firm’s registration, and a bar on an individual’s association with registered accounting firms.

The enforcement staff plans, organizes, and conducts investigations dealing with complex matters, including financial fraud, that may involve possible violations by auditors relating to the preparation and issuance of audit reports for public companies, brokers, or dealers. Those investigations involve both U.S and non-U.S. based auditors.

The enforcement staff reviews and analyzes audit work papers, corporate books and records, and other financial and accounting documents and information. They conduct interviews and take sworn testimony from witnesses, and make recommendations to the Board related to disciplinary actions.

With the Board’s approval, the enforcement staff may bring disciplinary actions against audit firms and individuals in administrative proceedings. In those proceedings, the enforcement staff litigates before hearing officers and, on appeal, before the Board for the auditors’ failure to comply with the securities laws, the rules of the PCAOB and the SEC, and the professional standards that govern the audits of public companies, brokers and dealers.

The enforcement staff also coordinates on enforcement issues with other regulators and law enforcement agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice, FINRA and the Board’s foreign counterparts.