Thank you, Chair Williams. I am delighted to be a part of this important moment to vote on the adopting release of the Lead Auditor’s Use of Other Auditors. As the global reach of public companies continue to expand, the role of other auditors in practice has concurrently enlarged, creating challenges for lead auditors in planning and coordinating with other auditors outside of their firms. As a regulator, we have the obligation to protect investors by setting principles-based standards that ultimately improve the quality of audits. It is imperative for lead auditors to sufficiently plan and supervise the work of other auditors in accordance with PCAOB standards and obtain sufficient audit evidence to support the lead auditor’s audit opinion.
This adopting release strengthens our trust in the performance of audits involving multiple audit firms, when it includes lead auditors working with other auditors or referred-to-auditors. In my opinion, trust is vital to maintaining highly efficient and effective capital markets. As noted earlier by Stephanie and Andrew, the revisions enhance planning and supervision, due professional care, independence, and engagement quality review, among others.
After three rounds of public comment and countless staff hours, it is clear that a considerable amount of effort was invested in preparing this adopting release, since the first proposing release in 2016. I’d like to take this occasion to thank the staff again, in particular Barbara Vanich, Dima Andriyenko, Stephanie Hunter, Andrew Cleve, Hunter Jones, Nayantara Hensel, Michael Gurbutt, Tian Liang, John Powers, Drew Dropkins, and Vince Meehan, who contributed to this release and all the stakeholders that provided invaluable comments. In conclusion, I am pleased to support the adoption of the new requirements for the Lead Auditor’s Use of Other Auditors, which increases my trust in the quality of audits and by extension boosting my confidence of the capital markets ecosystem. Thank you, and I look forward to the continued teamwork.