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 quality control system. 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 quality control systems, 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

Online Tools to Help Users Find and Compare Inspection Report Data


The PCAOB has enhanced its website with ways for investors, audit committees, potential audit clients, and others to find and understand information in inspection reports.

Check out this tutorial video where we walk through the online tools to help stakeholders better access and understand data from PCAOB inspection reports.

Explore the tools

Recent Updates

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Dec. 21, 2023

A new staff report provides observations from the PCAOB’s target team, a group of inspectors who focus on emerging audit risks and other topics.

Dec. 20, 2023

In a new staff report, the PCAOB’s staff has outlined 2024 inspection priorities, with a focus on driving improvements in audit quality.