Good morning and thank you to all who are joining us. I am excited to participate in my first open meeting as a Member of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and I want to thank our Chair, Erica Williams, and my fellow Board members for their collaborative spirit and shared sense of mission in these early days of our tenure. I look forward to working with each of them, as well as the PCAOB’s great staff, on the many important issues that will come before us.
This is an important day for the PCAOB, investors and our capital markets as we consider the charters for the Investor Advisory Group (IAG) and the Standards and Emerging Issues Advisory Group (SEIAG). I am pleased to support adoption of both charters because these panels will play a critical role in assisting the PCAOB in fulfilling its overarching investor protection mission. We will also consider the dissolution of the Standards Advisory Group, which I also support.
I cannot overemphasize the value that the IAG and the SEIAG will bring to the PCAOB’s standard-setting activities. There may be a lingering notion that the PCAOB has not been sufficiently focused on protecting investors, but we want to change that perception. Please be assured that the considerable thought that we have put into creating these bodies is not for mere window dressing and it is no accident that standing up our two advisory panels is the first significant action this Board is taking. Our goal is for these groups to be comprised of women and men from various demographics and who will have, in most instances, decades of experience as, investors, investor advocates, academics, auditors from various sized issuers, and corporate governance experts. They will be an essential component of the PCAOB’s standard setting.
I am glad to be going back to the future, in that we are reimagining two separate bodies, which will be paramount to our success. I am a firm believer that the IAG deserves its own voice, space, and platform. Investors believe strongly in the importance of a separate investor advisory group as it provides an important forum where the Board and PCAOB staff can gain an investor perspective on audit issues and where the effects of auditing issues and standards – and the Board’s other activities – can be discussed in an investor-friendly parlance that facilitates understanding and feedback.
The SEIAG will be one of the key vehicles the Board will use to gain input and insight into how we should be directing our activities in setting public company auditing standards and addressing other emerging issues. We all anticipate learning a tremendous amount during, and as a by-product of these meetings – I know that I certainly do.
To develop relevant and operable standards and rules that improve audit quality and meet investors’ needs, as well as the needs of other participants in the financial reporting ecosystem, we must have input from all relevant parties most impacted by our work and those who otherwise have perspectives and experiences that will contribute to effective standard setting. I am hopeful that . . . No, I am confident that the PCAOB’s work as it advances its standard-setting agenda will be informed by the breadth and depth of talent the IAG and SEIAG members will bring to our processes. And importantly, I am equally confident that we will strengthen public trust in our desire and ability to achieve our mission.
I close with a thank you to the staff in our Office of Chief Auditor, Office of General Counsel, and Office of External Affairs, who have done the hard work to get us to this important starting point. I certainly look forward to the day soon when we can gather in person.