Investor Bulletin – What Is the PCAOB’s Office of the Investor Advocate? 

April 1, 2024 

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

Following high-profile accounting scandals at Enron, WorldCom, and other public companies, the U.S. Congress in 2002 created an independent watchdog to oversee the public accounting firms that audit the financial statements of public companies. That watchdog is the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB or “Board”).  

The PCAOB oversees the audits of public companies and broker-dealers registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission primarily by:  

  • Establishing standards for audits, 

  • Registering and inspecting audit firms against those standards; and 

  • Bringing enforcement actions against those who violate those standards.  

The PCAOB’s oversight is aimed at driving improvement in audit quality to protect investors. Quality audits provide investors with confidence in public company financial reports and the integrity of the U.S. capital markets.  

OIAD’s Role at the PCAOB 

OIAD is led by the PCAOB Investor Advocate to ensure that investors’ voices are heard at the highest level of the organization. OIAD enhances the PCAOB's engagement with investors and investor advocates and helps to incorporate their perspectives into the PCAOB’s activities by: 

  • Collaborating and coordinating with investors and investor advocates. OIAD engages with investors and provides investor education. OIAD’s Investor Bulletins and other materials are published to keep investors informed. They highlight the importance of the PCAOB’s activities to investors. OIAD also hosts and attends public meetings and other events to hear directly from investors and investor advocates.  

  • Elevating the voice of investors at the PCAOB. OIAD engages with investors and investor advocates concerning the impact on investors of the PCAOB’s regulatory activities. OIAD helps identify additional opportunities for strengthening investor protection and provides policy feedback on the PCAOB’s agenda, including its standard-setting and rulemaking docket.  

  • Supporting the PCAOB Investor Advisory Group (IAG). The IAG is composed of a broad range of investors and investor advocates with deep experience and expertise. The IAG provides the Board with investor perspectives as the Board carries out its investor-protection mission. The PCAOB Investor Advocate co-chairs the IAG.  

Investors are core to the mission of the PCAOB and OIAD, and OIAD cannot fulfill its mission without hearing from investors and investor advocates. You may reach OIAD here.  

Other Resources 

You may find additional, related information below: 

  • Additional information about the PCAOB is available on the PCAOB’s website, including the Information for Investors page

  • Information about the current PCAOB Investor Advocate can be found here

  • Details about the PCAOB Investor Advisory Group, including biographies of current members, are available here