Statement in Support of the 2023 Budget and 2022-2026 Strategic Plan

Remarks as prepared for delivery

Thanks, Chair Williams.

I am in full support of the PCAOB’s strategic plan and budget being put forth today.

My career has been steeped in mission-driven organizations, and the PCAOB is no different. Our mission of investor protection is woven into the fabric of all that we do, including our strategic planning and budgeting process.

Approval of these plans are critical milestones to pursuing the Board's priorities. The strategic plan presents ambitious goals for the next 4 ½ to 5 years to modernize standards, enhance inspections, strengthen enforcement, and improve organizational effectiveness, which allows continued maturing of our organization. We have already taken pivotal actions towards achieving these goals. Actions taken thus far include the release of the QC 1000 Proposal for comment today to strengthen a firm’s system of quality control, increasing enforcement penalties to deter bad auditor behavior, signing an agreement with the Chinese regulators to conduct inspections and investigations in a jurisdiction that we previously did not have access to, and hiring our first ever Chief Operating Officer to improve operational effectiveness. These examples demonstrate the Board’s deep commitment to decisively act upon the goals set. This plan will not sit on a shelf; it will drive our daily discussions with and actions taken by our divisions and offices to ensure those goals are cascaded into all facets of our mission-driven work. This will allow our people to see themselves in the strategic plan.

In addition to the Strategic Plan, I fully support the 2023 Budget and overall 13% increase year over year. This increase appropriately incorporates efforts to increase our capacity to support program growth, competitively compensate our experienced work force, and reflect the impact of inflation. The PCAOB recently hit its 20-year milestone as a regulatory agency. The last couple years have presented headwinds for the market, as a whole. We have not been immune to the challenges presented by the Great Resignation, the COVID-19 pandemic, and inflation. This budget thoughtfully reflects the PCAOB’s resource needs to achieve its four aspirational goals over the next year. Our mission of investor protection is dependent upon a regulator that is fully-equipped with all the necessary resources, whether that be through people, process, or technology. It further reflects our efforts to have balance of increased in-person activities for mission critical work, such as inspections and testimony. Therefore, I put my full support behind the budget represented today.  

Similar to the statements of my fellow Board members, I would like to applaud the staff within our Office of Administration (in particular Holly Greaves and Jim Hearn) and those across the PCAOB who have played an integral role in bringing to life our strategic plan for 2022-2026 and our budget for 2023. This represents a best in class process, and I’d also like to thank internal and external contributors, including the collaboration with SEC staff, Martha Kidd, in the Chair’s office, and my staff, Jennifer Gibbons, Jane Hutchens, and Jay Watkins. And, I extend my thanks to those externally who took the time to thoughtfully respond and provide comments on our strategic plan contributing to the final product provided today.