The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board is reaching out to smaller accounting firms and small public companies with a new initiative to provide information about the board's inspections process and the impact of new auditing standards.

The PCAOB has planned a series of 10 invitation-only programs for registered firms and public companies in the small business community. Invited participants are auditors from registered accounting firms with fewer than 20 issuer clients and the members of audit committees of smaller public companies. The program is limited to those groups in the small business environment that are most directly impacted by the board's oversight responsibilities.

The first Forum on Auditing in the Small Business Environment will be held in Costa Mesa, Calif., on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. The two-day program will be hosted by board member Kayla Gillan and staff from the offices of inspections and standards-setting. The Nov. 30 session will focus on educating smaller registered accounting firms about the board's work, while the Dec. 1 session will concentrate on PCAOB issues impacting audit committees at smaller public companies. Attendees will be able to earn continuing professional education credits.

The board said that it plans to hold nine additional forums in 2005 in locations in Texas, Northern California, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Florida and Massachusetts.

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