DATE: Nov. 28, 2012
SPEAKER(S): Steven B. Harris, Board Member
EVENT: PCAOB Open Board Meeting
LOCATION: Washington, D.C.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I support both the Strategic Plan and the 2013 Budget we are considering this morning and believe that they reflect our commitment to improving audit quality and protecting investors.
I believe that this is a fiscally responsible budget that represents careful stewardship of our resources and incorporates the various views of the Board.
I support all of the Board's priorities spelled out in today's Strategic Plan and Budget. These submissions reflect some of my own priorities since joining the Board in June 2008. They include, among others:
• Improving the timeliness and clarity of our inspection reports and of our remediation determinations;
• Developing a strong global firm network oversight program;
• Insisting on a standard-setting regime that is designed to address specific identifiable problems in a targeted, cost-effective manner;
• Encouraging the development of programs to enhance the auditor's ability to detect and prevent financial reporting fraud;
• Supporting a robust and effective enforcement program; and
• Obtaining the views of investors both domestically and internationally.
I also have always believed in the importance of rigorous data collection and decision-making based on well-founded research and analysis. This budget reflects that need as well in the Board's commitment to its Office of Research and Analysis.
This Strategic Plan and Budget also reflects the need to:
• Initiate a project to identify audit quality measures;
• Continue to carefully monitor and consider the work of other standard setters, such as the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the International Accounting Standards Board and the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board; and
• Work closely with our regulatory counterparts through the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators.
As you know, I support a fully transparent approach to fulfilling our duties as a regulator. As such, during the next year, I hope the Board will find ways to further improve our website to increase its usefulness and accessibility for investors, registered firms and other interested parties.
Lastly, let me say that I appreciate the supportive working relationship we have with the SEC and its valuable review and oversight of our budget process, which helps ensure that we remain strong stewards of the resources with which we are entrusted.
In sum, I believe the Strategic Plan and Budget are well crafted to address the Board's statutory mandate under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, "To protect investors by improving the accuracy and reliability of corporate disclosures…" and "to protect the interests of investors and further the public interest in the preparation of informative, accurate and independent audit reports for companies the securities of which are sold to, and held by and for, public investors."
Before closing, I join you, Mr. Chairman, in acknowledging the contributions of Darrell Pauley, Bill Wiggins, Yoss Missaghian, and Bobbie Reichert in providing the Board with a fiscally responsible 2013 Budget and for their work on the Strategic Plan, along with that of Phoebe Brown, the PCAOB Corporate Secretary.