Statement on the Amendments to the PCAOB’s Interim Independence Standards and Board Rules to Align with Amendments to Rule 2-01 of Regulation S-X

I'm pleased to vote in favor of the proposed Amendments to the PCAOB's Interim Independence Standards and Board Rules.

Independence is at the heart of the audit process. The targeted Amendments offered today align the PCAOB's independence requirements with the new requirements reflected in the SEC's Amendments to Rule 2-01 of Regulation S-X. In amending our Rules and Standards, it is our intention to eliminate unnecessary differences between the PCAOB's requirements and the SEC's requirements that would otherwise exist following the SEC's Amendments to Rule 2-01.

I commend the SEC and the Board for monitoring their rules after implementation and taking action to focus the rules on relationships and services that may pose threats to an auditor's independence. For example, it has become apparent that an auditor's independence is unlikely to be impaired by the auditor continuing to pay their student loans taken to attend college before starting their career, when they happen to work in the office that audits the lender. Regularly reviewing rules to see if they are working as intended is not only a sign of good governance, but is also critically important.

The SEC's review process resulted in the modernization of its independence requirements, and that is why the PCAOB is making conforming amendments today. The SEC's Amendments, and therefore the Board's Amendments, are designed to allow auditors to focus on the independence rules that matter most and to eliminate or revise rules that imposed restrictions on relationships that are less likely to impair independence. I support that objective.

I thank the PCAOB's Staff, particularly those in our Office of the Chief Auditor, for their work on these Amendments and for preparing them promptly so that our Amendments can take effect at the same time as the SEC's Amendments. I approve these Amendments.