The PCAOB enforces the professional standards and other related laws and rules governing the audits of public companies and broker-dealers. PCAOB staff investigates potential violations by public accounting firms and individuals of these standards, laws, and rules.

To conduct investigations, PCAOB staff uses a wide variety of tools, including:

  • Written requests and demands for documents and information;
  • Sworn testimony of individuals and firm representatives; and
  • Public filings, referrals, and whistleblower tips.

As stated in the PCAOB Strategic Plan, the Board prioritizes enforcement efforts that address those issues that pose the greatest risk to investors and are most likely to deter improper conduct. PCAOB staff focuses its work on significant audit violations, failures relating to auditor independence, and matters threatening the Board’s oversight integrity (e.g., noncooperation with PCAOB inspections and investigations). When violations are found, the PCAOB may impose sanctions, including censures, monetary penalties, and limitations on a firm’s or an individual’s ability to audit public companies or broker-dealers.

As required by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, PCAOB investigations and disciplinary proceedings are confidential and nonpublic. 

Settled Disciplinary Orders

The PCAOB posts all settled orders that the Board has reached with registered firms or their associated persons.

Settled Disciplinary Orders

Adjudicated Final Board Actions

The PCAOB posts publicly available opinions, orders, and other final Board actions imposing sanctions in litigated disciplinary proceedings, as well as related SEC and court actions on review of those sanctions.

Adjudicated Final Board Actions

Recent Updates

Oct. 20, 2021

PCAOB posts new resources for auditors of small businesses and broker-dealers.

Broker-Dealers & Small Businesses
Sep. 22, 2021

PCAOB adopted a new rule related to the PCAOB’s responsibilities under the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act (HFCAA).

International