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 system of quality control. 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 systems of quality control, 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 Outlook for 2021 Inspections

Watch for a quick overview of the changes we're making to PCAOB's 2021 inspections and important areas of planned focus. Our Stakeholder Liaison shares highlights of two new publications, 2021 Staff Outlook for Inspections and Audit Committee Resource. The audit committee publication can help inform constructive dialogue with auditors.

Recent Updates

Aug. 19, 2021

PCAOB issues annual report on broker-dealer audits.

Apr. 6, 2021

PCAOB provides audit committee resource on 2021 inspections.

Audit Committees & Inspections