2024 PCAOB/TAR Registered Reports Conference on Current Issues in Auditing – Call for Registered Report Proposals

February 21, 2024

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) and The Accounting Review (TAR) are pleased to announce a joint conference focused on registered report proposals relating to auditing and audit-related topics. The conference will be held in person in Washington, D.C., on June 12-13, 2024. Researchers are invited to submit registered report proposals for consideration for presentation at the conference.

The PCAOB and TAR aim to stimulate current and future academic interest in areas of significance to the PCAOB’s mission of protecting investors and furthering the public interest in the preparation of informative, accurate, and independent audit reports by:

Promoting rigorous economic research on audit-related topics, including the economic impact of auditing, audit regulation, and audit oversight on capital markets;

Encouraging economic analysis of auditing, analytical auditing research, and understanding economics of emerging audit technologies; and

Examining the impact of audit quality on the capital markets.

Proposal Topics

The conference organizers (i.e., PCAOB and TAR) invite researchers to submit proposals regarding all aspects of auditing issuers and brokers and dealers as well as the impact of audit regulation and audit oversight. All research methods qualify (e.g., theoretical, archival, experimental). Researchers may submit proposals that contemplate use of specific PCAOB data for their research. Use of any such data will require PCAOB approval, and researchers will be required to meet the PCAOB’s terms and conditions. Proposals that do not contemplate use of PCAOB data are equally welcome.

Please click here for research topics of interest

Proposal Submission Details

Proposals to be considered for this conference and for potential publication in TAR as a registered report should follow TAR’s editorial policy (as supplemented by the provided template) and be submitted via TAR’s electronic office. Please provide a cover letter indicating that your submission is for the joint conference. Payment of TAR’s normal submission fee is required.

The conference organizers will provisionally select proposals prior to the completion of research in an effort to encourage academic innovation in addition to reducing the impact of publication bias.

Examples of Categories of PCAOB Data

Researchers may submit proposals that would require access to specific PCAOB data to perform the necessary analyses. An overview of potentially available data categories is provided below. Additional information regarding specific PCAOB data may be made available upon request, following meeting the PCAOB’s terms and conditions. Use of any such data will require PCAOB approval and researchers will be required to abide by the PCAOB’s terms and conditions, including necessary protections for confidentiality. For additional information, please contact PCAOB staff at [email protected].

The PCAOB collects data from registered audit firms as part of its oversight activities. This includes (i) data sourced through annual data requests for certain firms and their audit engagements, and (ii) detailed data sourced on audit engagements selected for inspection and, therefore, may not cover every audit firm, or every engagement for a firm, in a given year. Current and former PCAOB Fellows have performed research using a variety of data to inform their economic analysis. Interested researchers can find additional information about available data and topics covered in the published and working papers produced by PCAOB fellows (https://pcaobus.org/resources/information-for-academics/publications-and-workingpapers).

Evaluation of Proposals and Registered Reports

In evaluation of initial proposals, the conference organizers will favor those that have theoretically sound and clearly specified hypotheses. The conference organizers particularly seek proposals for research that will provide interesting insights regardless of the ultimate findings. To the extent that a proposal contemplates access to specific PCAOB information, the proposal must be both in furtherance of the PCAOB’s mission and approved by the PCAOB.

After the conference, TAR editors will decide which proposals will be invited for a second round of submission to TAR. Invited proposals will continue the formal review process as registered report proposals. At this stage, TAR editors and reviewers will work with authors toward an acceptable “registered report.” Thereafter, authors of provisionally accepted articles/papers will execute their studies. If access to specific PCAOB data has been approved by the PCAOB, that data will be provided at this point, subject to author agreement with the PCAOB’s terms and conditions.

A subset of proposals will eventually be given “in principle acceptance” as a Registered Report. Proposals that do not contemplate the use of PCAOB data and are rejected at this stage may still be submitted to TAR as regular manuscripts if subsequently completed (i.e., data collected and analyzed, results written up); TAR’s normal review process would apply.

As with all such academic papers, any papers using PCAOB data must present their findings regarding such data in an aggregated and anonymized format only. Authors agree to obtain PCAOB authorization for any use of specific PCAOB data.

TAR editors and reviewers will evaluate whether authors have executed their planned analyses, whether these analyses conform to proposals, and whether authors’ additional analyses and interpretations are appropriate given the realization of the data. Manuscripts will be either accepted or rejected for publication based on this evaluation.

Timeline

The timeline for the conference and related research is as follows:

April 1, 2024: Submission of registered report proposals for consideration for presentation at the conference. Initial proposals will describe the hypotheses to be tested, the data to be collected (including any anticipated requests to use PCAOB data), and the research design and analyses to be employed. A sample template is provided on the conference website[link] to assist authors in the formulation of their proposals.

May 15, 2024: Authors will be notified whether their proposal is selected for presentation at the conference.

June 12-13, 2024: Presentation of selected proposals for feedback at the joint conference.

July 1, 2024: Authors of a subset of proposals selected by TAR editors based on conference feedback will be invited to submit revised proposals to TAR for review and consideration for publication. The result of this process, after one or more rounds of review, will be either an “in principle acceptance” or rejection. Rejected proposals (that do not contemplate use of PCAOB data) may be later submitted to TAR as a regular manuscript.

Summer/Fall 2024: Execution of the project and submission of the final manuscript to TAR for evaluation. Researchers authorized by the PCAOB to use PCAOB data would be able to begin working with such data at this time.

Please click here for the conference website