The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board approved a $136.4 million budget for the 2007 calendar year, an increase of 4.2 percent over last year.Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which created the accounting regulator, the board’s budget, less registration fees collected from accounting firms throughout 2006, form the basis for assessment of accounting support fees in 2007. The board will agreed to tap into an excess of its working capital reserve fund to reduce the overall accounting support fee by $10 million next year.
The 2007 budget projects that the board will assess $122.4 million in accounting support fees.
The majority of the board’s outlays will be for personnel expenses related to hiring auditors to conduct inspections of registered public accounting firms. The PCAOB expects to grow to a total headcount of 519 employees by the close of 2007, including a headcount of approximately 250 for inspections staff. At the close of 2006, the board will have an estimated headcount of 480, including an inspections staff of 230.
To date, more than 1,700 public accounting firms have been registered by the board, including approximately 750 firms based outside the United States.
The board’s budget is subject to approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which announced an open meeting for today to consider the plan.
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