Statement on the PCAOB 2019-2023 Strategic Plan and 2020 Budget

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I fully support the PCAOB's 2019 to 2023 Strategic Plan and the 2020 Budget. Last year, the Board began to reconsider and renew our commitment to audit quality. In year one of our multi-year plan, we made substantial progress toward our goals. Our people, our leaders, and the Board are all fully committed to our mission. This Plan, the supporting Budget, and the related transformation efforts, will help us as we continue.

This year, we began transforming our inspections process to conduct our inspection activities to provide more timely and relevant feedback to our stakeholders. We have accelerated the inspection process. A new inspection report is forthcoming. It will be more readable and more accessible to a wider range of our stakeholders.

We have begun to fulfill our commitment to enhancing transparency and accessibility through proactive stakeholder engagement. We have several staff dedicated to external communications. Speaking events, roundtables, education forums, webinars, and meetings with stakeholders are happening regularly. Our staff have published regular guidance geared toward specific interest groups. All these things together are cultivating more effective and dynamic dialogue with our stakeholders.

In standard setting, we have been busy working through our agenda. It involves better leveraging economic and risk analysis to effectively set standards, rules, and guidance. This helps ensure our standards, rules, and guidance are grounded in evidence and remain effective. Compliance with the new Critical Audit Matters (or CAMs) standard has been a major focus across our divisions. We have monitored and supported its implementation through targeted guidance, webinars, regular contact with firms, and the inspection process.

Late last year, we finalized new and revised standards on Estimates and the Use of Specialists. Since then, staff have provided guidance and educational opportunities to promote awareness of these standards. In this way, we are regulating throughout the implementation process and not just through inspections or enforcement. Additionally, we will be issuing a Concept Release shortly to obtain feedback on new quality control standards.

Enforcement has continued to ensure accountability and deter improper conduct by addressing violations of PCAOB standards and rules, and related federal securities laws. This includes enhancing and aligning skill sets to investigate matters involving complex practices within the profession. The enforcement team seeks to maximize their ability to enforce accountability, achieve appropriate deterrent effects, and protect investors.

This 2020 budget will support us as we continue these efforts. Our specific investment in technology means we can optimize our operations to technology-enable and mobilize our people. This will empower them to be more effective and efficient in furthering our mission.

Finally, I want to thank our dedicated PCAOB staff. You are driving our mission daily and enabling our transformation.

I also want to thank the Office of Administration for their efforts in bringing this budget forward. Thank you, too, to our colleagues at the Securities & Exchange Commission for their feedback and oversight.