The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board announced plans to host a public meeting on Wednesday and Thursday, April 2-3, to get further feedback on its proposal to improve the auditor's reporting model.

The board’s August 2013 proposal includes a new auditing standard that aims to make the audit report more relevant to investors by providing deeper insights from the audit based on information the auditor already knows from the audit. The proposal also includes a second auditing standard to enhance the auditor's responsibilities for other information in an annual report that contains audited financial statements and the auditor's report.

“We received many thoughtful, reasoned comments on the Board's proposal and this public meeting is intended to further explore the issues,” said PCAOB Chairman James R. Doty in a statement.

The meeting will be organized as panel discussions and held in Washington, D.C. Panelists will be invited to present their views on the matters raised in the proposal, and the board will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Panelists will include investors and investor advocates, senior executives and audit committee chairs of major corporations, representatives from audit firms, academicians, and other interested parties. The panelists and specific topics will be announced closer to the meeting date.

The meeting will be held at The Westin Washington DC City Center Hotel, 1400 M Street NW, Washington, D.C. The meeting will be open to the public and also available via webcast on the PCAOB’s Web site.

Research Fellowships

Separately, the PCAOB also said Thursday that it is seeking researchers to fill several newly created fellowship positions.

"The PCAOB will greatly benefit from this partnership with academics and research professionals who have an expressed interest in topics relevant to the board's work," said Doty.

The Fellows will be part of the PCAOB's new Center for Economic Analysis that the board established to study the role and relevance of the audit in capital formation and investor protection, and to promote and encourage related economic research.

The fellowships will start in August 2014 and continue for 12 months. Candidates should have an active interest in auditing, the capital markets and regulatory oversight matters.

Both Senior Fellow and Fellow positions are available. Ideal applicants for Senior Fellow positions should have a doctoral degree in economics, finance, accounting, or a related area.

Applicants for Fellow positions should have completed all course work in a doctoral program in economics, finance, accounting, or a related area, and should be actively performing research and writing a dissertation.

In particular, all Fellows will have the opportunity to identify and conduct research on auditing matters that will inform the oversight activities of the PCAOB in protecting investors. These include:

•    the role and relevance of the audit in capital markets;
•    the effectiveness of the audit in facilitating capital formation and protecting investors;
•    the role of the audit in promoting access to public markets for small enterprises;
•    the effects of audit and financial reporting failures on financial markets.

Additional details on the fellowship positions and the application process are available on the PCAOB’s Web site. Applications are due no later than April 18, 2014.

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