Washington (Dec. 15, 2003) -- Public Company Accounting Oversight Board Chairman William McDonough said the oversight body’s inspection and review efforts will spotlight such areas as fraud, risk assessments, compliance standards and compensation packages, as it maps out its 2004 review strategies for accounting firms that audit public clients.

“As our inspections teams draft their reports this year, they will also be planning the regular inspections for 2004,” McDonough told nearly 2,000 attendees at the American Institute of CPAs’ National Conference on Current SEC Developments. The speech marked his first presentation before the AICPA as PCAOB chair. “An important part of our 2004 inspections will involve reviewing a significant number of audit engagements.”

Inspections are expected to begin in May and conclude in October or November. The board has already completed inspections of the Big Four firms and is evaluating those results.

McDonough urged attendees to “return to a single-minded emphasis on presenting information fairly.” He added, “The public needs a basis for confidence that those who invest in the financial markets will be treated fairly by the participants. You are the key to that confidence.”

He reminded attendees that although the PCAOB will write the rules for public company auditing, “it is still you who will be doing the auditing.”

To date, 736 firms have applied for registration with the board; 717 have received approval.

-- WebCPA staff

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