The PCAOB is a nonprofit corporation established by Congress to oversee the audits of public companies in order to protect investors and further the public interest in the preparation of informative, accurate, and independent audit reports. The PCAOB also oversees the audits of brokers and dealers registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including compliance reports filed pursuant to federal securities laws.
The PCAOB has four primary duties:
- Register public accounting firms that prepare audit reports for issuers, and SEC-registered brokers and dealers.
- Establish or adopt auditing and related attestation, quality control, ethics, and independence standards.
- Inspect registered public accounting firms' audits and quality control systems.
- Investigate and discipline registered public accounting firms and their associated persons for violations of specified laws, rules, or professional standards.
In support of our mission, we also conduct economic research and risk analysis, engage with our stakeholders and other domestic and international regulators, and manage a talented workforce and the technology and resources we need to perform our duties.
The SEC has oversight authority over the PCAOB, including the approval of the Board's rules, standards, and budget.
The PCAOB has approximately 800 staff members. We maintain our headquarters in Washington, D.C., and have 15 other offices or locations across the United States. As of December 31, 2021, in 83 jurisdictions across the globe, 1,709 public accounting firms were registered with the PCAOB.
The five members of the PCAOB Board, including the Chair, are appointed to staggered five-year terms by the SEC, after consultation with the Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Secretary of the Treasury.
The PCAOB submits an annual report, including audited financial statements, to the SEC required by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.