Helen Munter, director of registration and inspections at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, plans to leave the PCAOB at the end of May.

The PCAOB said Friday that Munter is leaving after 14 years at the organization. As director since 2011, she has played an important role in overseeing the audits firms in both the U.S. and abroad. Munter has spearheaded development of the PCAOB’s inspection process and the overall effort to improve audit quality. She managed the PCAOB’s biggest operating division, which includes the Global Network Firm Inspection Program, the Non-Affiliate Firm Inspection Program, the Broker-Dealer Auditor Interim Inspection Program, and firm registration.

“It has been a privilege to work with the board, and the many talented and dedicated individuals in my division and throughout the PCAOB,” Munter said in a statement. “I take pride in the improvement in audit quality we’ve seen over the years, in large part due to the good work of PCAOB inspectors, and our efforts to improve the dialogue with the inspected firms. The inspection teams have worked closely together to advance audit quality for the protection of investors, and in fulfillment of the vision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. I am pleased with what we have accomplished to support and enhance the usefulness and reliability of financial and internal control reporting.”

Munter is leaving at a time of major transition for the PCAOB, with a slate of all new board members having joined in recent months, along with a new chairman, William Duhnke, who praised her service. “Helen’s distinguished service in helping to build and manage the PCAOB inspection teams and programs is greatly responsible for the PCAOB’s contributions to improving audit quality and protecting investors in U.S. capital markets,” he said in a statement.

Munter began working for the PCAOB in 2004, originally as regional director in the San Mateo office, before she became deputy director in 2008, and team leader for some of the PCAOB’s biggest and most complicated inspections. She also led the team of accountants who set up many of the inspection processes that remain in place today.

Before joining, she was an audit partner and deputy in the professional practice group in the San Francisco office of Deloitte & Touche LLP. She spent 16 years at Deloitte offices in San Francisco and Barcelona, Spain. Munter received a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley. She is a CPA and is fluent in Spanish.

Helen Munter, outgoing director of registration and inspections at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board
Helen Munter, outgoing director of registration and inspections at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board YouTube

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Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn, editor-in-chief of AccountingToday.com, has been covering business and technology for a variety of publications since 1985.