The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board intends to hold seven forums across the country to discuss auditing issues in the small business environment.

The PCAOB announced the 2011 schedule for its Forum on Auditing in the Small Business Environment on Monday. The first of the seven events will be held in Boston, Mass., on Thursday, April 28.

The forums, which are updated annually, are designed to share important information about PCAOB activities with registered public accounting firms operating in the small business community. They also provide a unique opportunity for PCAOB Board Members and staff to hear the comments and concerns of auditors working with small businesses.

“We see the PCAOB Small Business Forum as an excellent opportunity to engage directly with auditors involved in the small business community,” said PCAOB Chairman James R. Doty in a statement. “The PCAOB uses the forums both to educate auditors about the PCAOB’s programs and highlight important practice issues as well as to gain insights from participants about current issues and challenges facing the small business community.”

The 2011 forum agenda features several case studies and discussion topics that address issues that affect audits of small businesses. Topics will include economic outlook and audit risk update; risk assessment standards and audit practice alerts; future standard-setting priorities; internal control and IT control issues; and enforcement and inspection update. A synopsis of PCAOB regulatory oversight of auditors of brokers and dealers also will be included in the forums.

In addition, staff from the Securities and Exchange Commission Division of Corporation Finance will provide an update on recent SEC activities and observations about common financial reporting issues facing smaller public companies.

“The goal of these forums, now in their eighth year, is to open an avenue for discussion and dialogue with accounting firms that serve the small business community,” said PCAOB member Daniel L. Goelzer, who will be hosting the Boston forum. “The 2011 program will target some of the special challenges that the board’s inspection program has highlighted in smaller company audits.”

Each forum is hosted by a board member of the PCAOB and is open to PCAOB-registered firms. There is no fee charged to participate in these events but pre-registration is required. Attendees also have the opportunity to earn continuing professional education credits.

The PCAOB held its first Small Business Forum in 2004 and has continued to hold forums since then in cities across the country, meeting with more than 4,000 representatives of smaller registered accounting firms.

Feedback received from these forums assists the PCAOB to understand and consider the unique needs and challenges of the small business community in its inspection and standard-setting processes.

The 2011 schedule is as follows:

•    Boston, Mass., April 28, 2011
•    Las Vegas, Nev., May 19, 2011
•    New York, N.Y., July 28, 2011
•    Chicago, Ill. Sept. 23, 2011
•    Seattle, Wash., Oct. 5, 2011
•    Dallas, Texas, Nov. 3, 2011
•    St. Petersburg, Fla., Dec. 1, 2011

In addition to these seven meetings, the PCAOB will hold two other forums prepared specifically for auditors of brokers and dealers.  Information will be posted regarding these forums in late spring.  These forums will be held in:

•    Jersey City, N.J., Oct. 28, 2011
•    Huntington Beach, Calif., Nov. 17, 2011

For more information, including a detailed agenda of the Small Business Forum, visit the Forum on Auditing in the Small Business Environment on the PCAOB Web site at  Further registration questions should be directed to Margaret Hopkins at or (202) 207-9081.

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