William McDonough, chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, made his first speech as PCAOB chair at the New York State Society of CPAs SEC Conference. He expressed his belief that the accounting profession has to go the extra mile to restore the trust that it has lost and that accounting firms auditing public companies must follow the letter and spirit of Sarbanes-Oxley.

As the legislation requires, he says that the seven firms with more than 100 audit clients will get the most intense scrutiny from the PCAOB. Interestingly, he adds the other firms can expect "benign supervision." He did note that it was "unfortunate" some smaller accounting firms were giving up the auditing of public companies but he didn't address, and I expect it was on purpose, any impact that the audit partner rotation requirement might have had on the decisions of those firms.

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