The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board approved its fiscal year 2017 budget of approximately $268.5 million, along with a strategic plan through 2020 to guide its programs and operations.

The 2017 budget represents a 4.2 percent increase of the PCAOB’s 2016 budget of $257.7 million. The budget is subject to approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The accounting support fee for next year totals $268 million, with around $232.6 million to be shouldered by public companies and $35.3 million by brokers and dealers whose auditing firms are inspected by the PCAOB.

PCAOB chairman James Doty said the budget and strategic plan would help the board “remain vigilant and independent,” continue the work and initiatives begun under previous plans, and facilitate efforts to continue to pursue ongoing strategies designed to achieve its mission.

“The 2017 budget will allow us to conduct rigorous inspections in both the United States and abroad, to meet mandatory annual and triennial cycles applicable to audits of issuers,” he said at an open meeting of the board last week in Washington, D.C. “It will also allow us to continue to gather information in our temporary broker-dealer audit inspection program and develop a permanent inspection program.”

The budget will also help fund the PCAOB’s Center for Economic Analysis and Office of Research and Analysis, where staff members and visiting economists monitor areas of potential audit risk and produce data, along with reports and advice, on how to address risks through inspections, enforcement, standard setting and other policy initiatives. Next year the PCAOB plans to expand its use of data analysis and other statistical tools to make its programs and policy analysis more efficient.

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