2021 PCAOB Conference on Auditing and Capital Markets Agenda

Date: October 28-29, 2021 

The views expressed in the panels and/or in the papers selected for presentation are those of the authors/presenters and do not necessarily reflect those of the PCAOB Board members or staff.

Thursday, October 28, 2021 

(Eastern standard time)

11:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. 

Welcome remarks: Dr. Nayantara Hensel, Chief Economist of PCAOB and Director, Office of Economic and Risk Analysis

11:45 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

Opening remarks: Duane DesParte, Acting Chairperson

11:50 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

PANEL I: The Audit Industry: Impacts of Turnover of Audit Clients and Employees 

Panel Chair / Discussant: Dr. Sungho Noh, Financial Economist, PCAOB Office of Economic and Risk Analysis

Determinants and Career Consequences of Early Audit Partner Rotations (Brandon Gipper*, Stanford; Luzi Hail, University of Pennsylvania; Christian Leuz, University of Chicago & NBER)

The Responses of Non-Switching Audit Clients and Investors to Damaged Auditor Office Reputation (Meiling Zhao*, Mei Cheng, Paul Michas - University of Arizona) 

Audit-Employee Turnover: Impacts to Audit Quality and the Auditor-Client Relationship (Brandon Szerwo*, Joshua A. Khavis - University of Buffalo)

1:30 p.m. - 1:40 p.m.


1:40 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.

Panel II: Measuring Audit Quality

Panel Chair / Discussant: Dr. Tian Liang, Assistant Director, PCAOB Office of Economic and Risk Analysis

Opening the Books of Audit Firms: First Look and Audit Quality Implications (K. Philip Wang*, University of Florida, Shaohua He, Lancaster University, Ling Lei Lisic, Liang Tan - Virginia Tech)

Monitoring Quality of Group Audits: Internal and Regulatory Inspections of Component Audits of U.S. Issuers (Denise H. Downey*, Villanova University; Jean C. Bedard, Bentley University; Colleen M. Boland, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

 Identifying Informative Audit Quality Indicators (IAQI) Using Machine Learning (Chanyuan (Abigail) Zhang*, Soohyun Cho, Miklos Vasarhelyi—Rutgers)

3:10 p.m. - 3:20 p.m.


3:20 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

PANEL III: Potential Drivers of Audit Quality

Panel Chair / Discussant:  Dr. Victor Jarosiewicz, Financial Economist, PCAOB Office of Economic and Risk Analysis

The Opportunity for Partner Industry Knowledge Sharing within Audit Offices and Audit Quality (Meiling Zhao*, Dan Russomanno, Paul N. Michas—University of Arizona)

International Rotations in Globally Networked Public Accounting Firms: Implications for U.S. Audit Quality  (Kimberly Westermann*, CA Polytechnic State University; Denise Downey, Villanova University)

4:30 p.m. - 4:40 p.m.Day 1 Closing Remarks – Dr. Nayantara Hensel

Friday, October 29, 2021

(Eastern standard time)

11:00 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.Welcome remarks - Dr. Nayantara Hensel
11:10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Welcome Remarks from TAR and AAA

Dr. Robert Knechel (Fisher School of Accounting, University of Florida), Senior Editor, The Accounting Review

Dr. Christine Earley (Providence College) President of the Auditing Section of the American Accounting Association

11:30 a.m. - 11:40 a.m.BREAK
11:40 a.m. - 12:50 p.m.


Panel Chair / Q&A Moderator: Patrick Kastein, Deputy Director, PCAOB Office of Economic and Risk Analysis 

Perspectives on COVID’s Impact Across Industries and the Economy:

Perspectives on COVID from the Audit Sector: 

Perspectives on COVID from an Industry Perspective:

12:50 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.BREAK
1:00 p.m. - 2:10 p.m.

PANEL V: Trends in ESG Reporting and Assurance

Panel Chair / Q&A Moderator – Elena Bozhkova and Karen Wiedemann, PCAOB Office of the Chief Auditor

Perspectives on ESG from Investing Sector: Michelle Dunstan, Chief Responsibility Officer; Portfolio Manager—Global ESG Improvers Strategy, AllianceBernstein

Perspectives on ESG from Academic Sector: Dr. Jeffrey Hales, Professor of Accounting , University of Texas at Austin and Chair of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board

Perspectives on ESG from Audit Sector: Jennifer Haskell, Chief Auditor, Deloitte & Touche LLP and Sara DeSmith, ESG Partner, PwC

2:10 p.m. - 2:20 p.m.BREAK
2:20 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

PANEL VI: Use of Technology in Audits 

Panel Chair / Q&A Moderator – Nick Grillo and Elena Bozhkova, PCAOB Office of the Chief Auditor 

Perspectives on Technology: Scott Schwanz, PCAOB Division of Registration and Inspections 

Perspectives on Technology from Academic Sector: Dr. Helen Brown-Liburd, Associate Professor, Rutgers University 

Perspectives on Technology from Audit Sector: Brian Wolohan, Partner, Grant Thornton and Ian Wildenborg, Partner, KPMG

3:30 p.m. - 3:40 p.m.BREAK
3:40 p.m. - 4:50 p.m. 

PANEL VII: Quality Control

Panel Chair / Discussant: Dr. Jonathan Fluharty-Jaidee, Financial Economist, PCAOB Office of Economic and Risk Analysis 

Internal Control Quality: The Role of Critical Audit Matters Reporting (Jing Zhang*, University of Colorado Denver, Carol C. Dee, University of Colorado Denver; Bing Luo, San Francisco State University) 

Does an Audit Office’s Quality Control System Impact Audit Quality? Evidence from Audit Report Errors (William Buslepp*, Louisiana State University; Blair Marquardt, North Texas University; Stephanie Merrill, Nicholls State University; Lawrence Abbot, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

4:50 p.m. - 5:10 p.m.Conference Closing Remarks: Dr. Nayantara Hensel


*presenting author