The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board presented an interactive session on inspection case studies at its fourth annual International Auditor Regulatory Institute.

PCAOB inspection leaders demonstrated hypothetical inspection scenarios and discussed relevant considerations, inspection procedures and potential outcomes at the conference. The board has been making its inspections stricter and trying to expand them to more firms abroad.

The conference attracted 75 representatives of auditor oversight bodies and government agencies from 42 countries to Washington, D.C., to learn more about the PCAOB’s programs and exchange views on issues that have an impact upon the oversight of auditors.

“The PCAOB Institute has become an important component of the board’s outreach to its counterparts in other countries and necessary to our work to protect investors in companies that have securities trading on U.S. markets, no matter where those companies are located,” said PCAOB Acting Chairman Daniel L. Goelzer. “Although we have ongoing challenges to conducting inspections in other jurisdictions, this is an opportunity for audit regulators to share what we have learned and to listen to each other.”

The institute took place over two days, offering seminars on the structure of PCAOB auditor oversight programs, considerations relevant to international inspections, and current topics in enforcement and standard-setting. The institute also included a panel discussion with representatives of several of the PCAOB’s international counterparts, addressing a range of issues related to auditor oversight worldwide. This year’s international panel included representatives from Canada, Japan, Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom.

Cynthia Cooper, the leader of the team at WorldCom that uncovered audit fraud a decade ago, spoke about ethical leadership in the 21st century at the conference.

As of November 2010, more than 900 audit firms from 85 jurisdictions outside the United States currently are registered with the PCAOB. Now in its eighth year of operation, the PCAOB established the institute in 2007 to provide a forum for open discussion among regulators around the world about approaches to auditor oversight and improvements to audit quality.

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