The PCAOB is a nonprofit corporation established by Congress to oversee the audits of public companies in order to protect investors and further the public interest in the preparation of informative, accurate, and independent audit reports. The PCAOB also oversees the audits of brokers and dealers, including compliance reports filed pursuant to federal securities laws.
The PCAOB has four primary duties:
- Register public accounting firms that prepare audit reports for issuers, brokers, and dealers.
- Establish or adopt auditing and related attestation, quality control, ethics, and independence standards.
- Inspect registered firms' audits and quality control systems.
- Investigate and discipline registered public accounting firms and their associated persons for violations of specified laws, rules, or professional standards.
In support of our mission, we also conduct economic research and risk analysis, engage with our stakeholders and other domestic and international regulators, and manage a talented workforce and the technology and resources we need to perform our duties.
The SEC has oversight authority over the PCAOB, including the approval of the Board's rules, standards, and budget.
The PCAOB has approximately 800 staff members. We maintain our headquarters in Washington, D.C., and have nine regional offices across the United States. More than 1,700 public accounting firms located in 92 jurisdictions across the globe are currently registered with us. About 560 of those registered firms audit more than 12,000 issuers that file financial statements with the SEC or otherwise play a substantial role in those audits.
Those issuers, which include 7,396 public companies, represent about $46.74 trillion in global market capitalization. In addition, approximately 360 registered firms perform audits of almost 3,500 SEC-registered broker-dealers or otherwise play a substantial role in those audits. Of those broker-dealers, 172 carry customer assets of approximately $3.8 trillion.
 The data presented in this section is as of September 30, 2020.
The five members of the PCAOB Board, including the chairman, are appointed to staggered five-year terms by the Securities and Exchange Commission, after consultation with the Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Secretary of the Treasury.