The PCAOB inspects registered public accounting firms to assess compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the rules of the Board, the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and professional standards, in connection with the firm's performance of audits, issuance of audit reports, and related matters involving U.S. public companies, other issuers, and broker-dealers.

Our inspections are designed to review portions of a firm’s issuer audits and evaluate elements of a firm’s quality control system. The process aims to drive improvement in the quality of audit services through a focus on effective prevention, detection, and deterrence of audit and quality control deficiencies—and oversight of firms’ remediation of identified deficiencies.

Firm Inspection Reports

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act authorizes the PCAOB to inspect registered firms for the purpose of assessing compliance with certain laws, rules, and professional standards in connection with a firm's audit work for public company and broker-dealer clients. The PCAOB provides each firm with issuer audit clients inspected with a report, which summarizes any deficiencies identified through the inspections process. Each year, we publish a summary report that provides information on the inspections conducted of firms with broker-dealer clients. 

Firm Inspection Reports

PCAOB Inspections Procedures and Process

The Inspections Procedures page covers how we conduct our inspections, as well as our process for reviewing selected firms’ audit work and quality control systems, our post-inspection activities, and detailed inspection procedures by year. The Basics of Inspections page offers greater detail on our inspections, including answers to common questions such as how audits are selected and what an inspection may entail.

PCAOB Inspection Procedures

Basics of Inspections

Staff Update and Preview of 2020 Inspection Observations

The PCAOB released a new Spotlight publication, “Staff Update and Preview of 2020 Inspection Observations.” Auditors may find this information useful as they plan and perform their audits, and audit committees may benefit from the use of this publication as a reference point when engaging with their auditors. We also believe this information may help investors and other stakeholders become more fully informed about the matters we find in our inspections.

Read the Spotlight

Recent Updates

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Mar. 8, 2023

Investor Advisory: Exercise caution with third-party verification/proof of reserve reports.

Information for Investors
Feb. 2, 2023

The PCAOB expects firms to remedy quality control deficiencies. Read our staff report to learn more.