About Standards and the Standard-Setting Process

About Standards 

On April 16, 2003, the PCAOB adopted certain preexisting auditing and related standards. PCAOB Rules 3200T3300T3400T3500T, and 3600T describe the standards that the Board adopted and require registered public accounting firms and their associated persons to comply with these interim standards to the extent they are not superseded or amended by the Board.

To the extent a PCAOB standard addresses a subject matter that also is addressed in the interim standards, the affected portion of the interim standard should be considered superseded or effectively amended. The Board also has made certain conforming amendments to the interim standards to reflect the effect of the adoption of PCAOB standards. In applying the interim standards, it remains the responsibility of the registered public accounting firm and its associated persons (and anyone else using the interim standards) to determine whether a particular interim standard has been superseded or amended by the Board, whether that has been reflected as a conforming amendment or not.

In the event of typographical or other technical errors in the electronic version of the interim standards, the interim standards that the Board adopted pursuant to the relevant rule govern (e.g., generally accepted auditing standards as described in SAS No. 95, as in existence on April 16, 2003, to the extent not superseded or amended by the Board). The electronic version of the interim standards may be updated from time to time to correct typographical or other technical errors.

About the Standard-Setting Process

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act directed the Board to establish auditing and related professional practice standards for registered public accounting firms to follow in the preparation and issuance of audit reports for issuers. In July 2010, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act amended the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and vested the PCAOB with the authority to establish auditing and related professional practice standards for audits of the financial statements and selected practices and procedures of broker-dealers. The Board's Office of the Chief Auditor is responsible for developing these standards.

The Board has sought to give a wide variety of stakeholders the opportunity to provide input on standards as they are developed. Those stakeholders include investors, auditors, preparers of financial statements, other standard setters, regulators, and various interested parties.

The Board's Standing Advisory Group provides advice on the Board's standard-setting agenda and related matters. Additionally, the Board may use public roundtables, focus groups, and task forces to discuss certain topics relevant to its standard-setting activities. The Board also takes into account observations from its inspections of registered public accounting firm audits and other oversight activities as an integral part of standard setting.

The Board may, depending on the nature of the project, issue a concept release to solicit public comment prior to issuing a proposed standard. Typically, after the Board reviews the feedback received, it proceeds with development of a draft standard and related proposing release. After issuing the proposed standard and related release for public comment, the Board considers the comments and determines whether to adopt the proposed standard as final or repropose the standard for additional public comment. Once the standard has been adopted, the Board then submits it to the Securities and Exchange Commission for approval.

The SEC solicits public comment on the Board's standard and a decision is made whether to approve it. A PCAOB standard does not become effective unless and until it is approved by the SEC.