The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has announced the formation of a Standing Advisory Group to assist the Board in carrying out its standards-setting responsibilities. PCAOB Chairman William McDonough indicates the group "will give its advice to the Board on standard-setting priorities and policy implications of existing and proposed standards.” Douglas Carmichael, the PCAOB’s Chief Auditor and the advisory group’s chair, says, "The group will help the Board review existing auditing standards to identify where necessary changes or updates are needed to improve audit quality.”

There is an interesting mix in the 30 members of the group including those with public accounting firms, industry, academia, law firms, the Federal Reserve Board, a consumer group, and a state employees retirement system. There are a number of partners with the Big Four, the corporate controller from Intel, Wanda Lorenz, a partner with Lane Goman Trubitt in Dallas, and Lynn Turner, a former SEC chief accountant.

The Board also invited four organizations to participate as observers. The four  are the FASB, the General Accounting Office, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board, and the SEC.

It will be interesting to see the impact that this advisory group has on future standards. It is an extremely diverse group and it truly signifies the changes that are down the road for accounting standards. CPAs will continue to play a significant role, but it will no longer be the dominant one that existed prior to Sarbanes-Oxley. This should come as no surprise, however, I guess it will take some getting used to by the CPA community.

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