Sarah N. Lynch has a nicely written article up today at Reuters Canadian. It’s nice to see her by-line again. She has always written competently about accounting.
In “SEC to Put U.S. Audit Watchdog Under Microscope,” January 12, 2012, Lynch reports that PCAOB chair James Doty will be presenting the PCAOB budget request of $227 million before the SEC in an opening meeting tomorrow.
She reports that this is the first open meeting on a PCAOB budget since 2008. She then goes on to identify several related issues before leaving the reader to conclude that this budget review shouldn’t be a big deal.
First, she reports on the context of the budget review. At this time the PCAOB is working on several high profile and controversial issues: auditor rotation, audit partner name on auditor opinion, inspection of U.S. firms, and attempted inspection of foreign firms. Questions on any of these issues might be asked of Doty. In addition, salaries at the PCAOB are high for government work, with Doty making four times what boss Mary Schapiro receives.
Then, she reports that Doty commands “respect from both sides of the aisle,” and should represent well both himself and the PCAOB.
Then, she reports that the SEC publicly reviewed the PCAOB budget last in 2008, when Republican Commissioners Cynthia Glassman and Paul Atkin were critical of the Board. The current hearing has been called at the request of new Republican Commissioner Dan Gallagher.
Due to scheduling issues, I will not be able to watch the meeting. It should be interesting to see if political interests will use any SEC commissioners to bring pressure on the PCAOB as it considers its controversial issues.
Debit and credit – – David Albrecht