The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has released a draft version of its five-year strategic plan and is asking for public comment on its areas of focus, after a slate of fresh new board members joined this year and an overhaul of some of its top staff.
After surveying PCAOB staff and the public, the new board said it intends to broaden its approach to driving improvement in the quality of audit services and more clearly communicate how it is driving that improvement. The PCAOB also said it wants to ensure its inspections and standard-setting activities are responsive to technological innovations and don’t impede them. The board intends to engage proactively more often and directly with investors, audit committees and other stakeholders to foster relevant, timely conversations about audit quality. It also plans to optimize PCAOB operations to more efficiently and effectively use resources. The plan also envisions reinforcing the PCAOB’s culture of integrity, excellence, effectiveness, collaboration and accountability.
“This draft strategic plan is the product of significant engagement among PCAOB leadership, staff, investors, auditors, audit committee members, preparers, academics and others interested in audit quality,” said PCAOB Chairman William D. Duhnke in a statement. “We are grateful for the thoughtful responses we received on the survey, and with this draft, we are continuing that important conversation.”
Duhnke is one of five new board members who have joined the PCAOB this year, giving the board a brand new slate of leaders. In recent months, there has been a string of departures of high-profile staff members, including enforcement director Claudius Modesti, chief auditor Martin Baumann, registration and inspector director Helen Munter, CIO Nirav Kapadia and general counsel J. Gordon Seymour (see PCAOB exits continue as Claudius Modesti departs).
As the new chair of the PCAOB, Duhnke has talked about taking a new approach for the audit regulator, which was established with the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 to restore confidence in the auditing profession after accounting scandals involving Enron, WorldCom and other companies. In April, the PCAOB circulated a survey asking for public input on its future direction and strategic plan (see PCAOB’s new board looks for feedback on future strategy). Now it is looking for comments on a draft version of that five-year strategic plan. The plan provides a draft statement of the board’s mission, vision, values, strategic goals and objectives, along with key factors affecting the strategic outlook. The strategic plan is designed to align PCAOB programs, operations, and activities with its overall mission, goals and objectives.
The strategic plan will offer a roadmap for the PCAOB, along with a basis for its budget each year. The PCAOB is asking for comments by Sept. 10, 2018. They can be sent via email, postal mail or the PCAOB website.