PCAOB to Host a Public Meeting March 21-22 on Auditor Independence and Audit Firm Rotation

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board announced today that it will host a public meeting to obtain further input on ways to enhance auditor independence, objectivity, and professional skepticism, including through mandatory rotation, or term limits, for audit firms.

The meeting will be held over two days, Wednesday and Thursday, March 21- 22, 2012.

The Board issued a concept release on Aug. 16, 2011, that invited commenters to discuss measures that might meaningfully enhance auditor independence, objectivity and professional skepticism. The release included a number of questions related to mandatory audit firm term limits, such as whether the PCAOB should consider a firm rotation requirement for audit tenures of more than 10 years, or for the largest issuer audits only.

"Independence, objectivity, and professional skepticism form the foundation for investor confidence in the integrity of the audit, and our inspections have made clear that improvement is needed in these areas," said PCAOB Chairman James R. Doty. "We received many thoughtful, reasoned comments and this public meeting is intended to further explore these issues."

The public meeting will consist of panel discussions, during which panelists will be invited to present their views on the matters raised in the concept release and the Board will have the opportunity to ask panelists follow-up questions. Panelists will include investors and investor advocates, senior executives and audit committee chairs of major corporations, chief executive officers of audit firms, academicians and other interested parties. Further information will be made available closer to the meeting date.

The meeting will be held at 1201 15th Street N.W., Washington, D.C. It will be open to the public, and also available via webcast on the PCAOB website.