Investor Bulletin – Commemorating the PCAOB’s Office of the Investor Advocate’s One-Year Anniversary

March 21, 2024

This document represents the views of the PCAOB Office of the Investor Advocate and not necessarily those of other PCAOB staff or the Board. It is not a rule, policy, or statement of the Board.

February 2024 marked the one-year anniversary of the Board’s creation of the Office of the Investor Advocate (OIAD) at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB or “Board”).

In OIAD’s first year, it has focused on engaging with investors and investor advocates to enhance their understanding of the PCAOB and its work, on elevating a broad range of investors’ voices within the PCAOB, and on supporting the PCAOB’s Investor Advisory Group (IAG) in advising the Board. The Investor Advocate leads OIAD to ensure that investors’ voices are heard at the highest level of the organization.

Investor Engagement

Investors are core to the mission of the PCAOB and OIAD, and OIAD cannot fulfill its mission without directly connecting with investors and investor advocates. In its first year, OIAD dialogued with a wide range of investors, including asset managers, state pension and retirement funds, and retail and institutional investors from across the country. OIAD helped broaden these stakeholders’ understanding of how the PCAOB protects investors. OIAD also joined meetings hosted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and state securities regulators to further engage with retail investors. OIAD also made it a point to encourage students to focus on investor advocacy.

OIAD also began issuing educational investor advisories and bulletins to highlight the work of the PCAOB and encourage investors and investor advocates to engage with the PCAOB. In 2023, OIAD issued five investor advisories or bulletins on a broad range of topics important to investors, including:

Elevating the Voice of Investors

OIAD works to give investors a seat at the table. OIAD assists in featuring investors’ voices at PCAOB events. Last year at the PCAOB International Institute on Audit Regulation, Investor Advocate Saba Qamar and IAG Co-Chair Amy McGarrity highlighted investor perspectives on audits during a panel presentation. The International Institute included nearly 90 officials from audit regulators from 35 jurisdictions outside of the United States. OIAD also facilitated investors speaking at the PCAOB Conference on Auditing and Capital Markets, which attracts an audience of academics. For the benefit of investors, OIAD also advises the Board and staff on the PCAOB’s agenda, including on its rulemaking and standard-setting docket.

Supporting the IAG

The IAG is composed of expert and experienced investors and investor advocates who advise the PCAOB on investor perspectives. The Investor Advocate co-chairs the IAG. In 2023, the IAG convened three public meetings covering a range of PCAOB activities that are important to investors. At these public meetings, the IAG briefed and made recommendations to Board members and other attendees on topics, including critical audit matters, crypto assets, firm and engagement performance metrics, and fraud. Recently, the IAG also welcomed five new members from across the country that have expertise and experience from backgrounds in retail investing, state and local retirement funds, and academia.

With one year successfully completed, OIAD looks forward to further strengthening its contributions to the Board and serving investors in 2024 and beyond.