PCAOB Approves Formation of New Standards Advisory Group to Further Enhance Stakeholder Engagement and Provide Advice

Erin Dwyer is Deputy Director of the Office of External Affairs at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. This post is based on a publication authored by PCAOB Staff.

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) today [March 29, 2021] approved the formation of a new advisory group that further expands the PCAOB’s stakeholder engagement and provides new opportunities for investors and other stakeholders to advise the Board.

Today’s unanimous vote to approve the charter of the Standards Advisory Group (SAG) creates an 18-person expert body. Under the charter, representatives from the investor community will hold the most SAG seats (five), followed by audit professionals (four), and three seats each for audit committee members or directors, financial reporting oversight personnel, academics and others with specialized knowledge. SAG members will serve two-year terms.

“Building on our concerted effort to improve our outreach over the last several years, we are now taking the PCAOB’s engagement to a higher level by creating a new, more effective structure for the Board to receive advice from our stakeholders on key PCAOB initiatives,” said PCAOB Chairman William D. Duhnke III. “The formation of the Standards Advisory Group extends the dialogue we’ve advanced with investors and others since 2018 and gives stakeholders additional and tangible opportunities to assist the Board in accomplishing its mission.”

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 empowers the PCAOB to convene expert advisory groups to make recommendations concerning the content of professional standards. Among other things, the SAG will advise the PCAOB on:

  • Existing auditing and related attestation standards, quality control standards, ethics standards, and independence standards;
  • Proposed standards;
  • Potential new or amended standards; and
  • Requested matters other than standards that are of significance to the Board.

As established in its charter, the SAG will primarily conduct its business by carrying out specific tasks assigned by the Board. SAG Task Forces will play a critical role in deliberating, producing deliverables, and sharing information on key issues with the Board and the public.

At today’s open meeting, all Board Members issued statements in support of the recommendation to create the SAG. Those statements can be found on this page, with audio discussion available on the event details page.

The PCAOB will release details on the nomination process for SAG members in the near term.

More information can be found at the PCAOB’s website.

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