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The PCAOB Looks to Open Its Disciplinary Proceedings to the Public

Dow Jones and the WSJ (subscription required) are reporting that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the agency created by Sarbanes-Oxley to oversee auditors of U.S. companies, has submitted a letter to Congress proposing that its disciplinary proceedings be opened to the public.  Among the reasons advanced for the proposal are a need for increased transparency and elimination of incentives to draw proceedings out.  The PCAOB cites the example of a firm that, though ultimately expelled from auditing public companies, issued 29 audit reports in a two-year period between the initiation of disciplinary proceedings and their public disclosure.

The PCAOB oversees more than 2,400 public accounting firms and has settled 32 disciplinary proceedings as of this writing; it’s unclear how many disciplinary proceedings are ongoing or how many, if any, have been resolved in favor of a respondent.

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