The PCAOB has authority to investigate and discipline registered public accounting firms and persons associated with those firms for noncompliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the rules of the PCAOB and the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other laws, rules, and professional standards governing the audits of public companies, brokers, and dealers.
When violations are found, the PCAOB can impose a range of sanctions on an auditor, including a censure, monetary penalties, revocation of a firm's registration, and a bar on an individual's association with registered accounting firms.
As stated in the PCAOB Strategic Plan, the Board prioritizes our enforcement efforts to address those issues that pose the greatest risk to investors and are most likely to deter improper conduct. We focus our work—both domestic and international—on three core priorities:
- Significant audit violations, including those involving a lack of due professional care and professional skepticism;
- Matters relating to the independence and integrity of the audit; and,
- Matters threatening the integrity of the Board’s regulatory oversight process (e.g., non-cooperation with PCAOB inspections and enforcement).
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 person.
Adjudicated Final Board Actions
The PCAOB posts publicly available opinions, orders, and other final Board actions imposing sanctions in contested disciplinary proceedings and Securities and Exchange Commission actions on review of those sanctions.