Public Company Accounting Oversight Board

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is a private, tax-exempt regulatory entity that the U.S. Congress created through the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX), principally, to promulgate and enforce rules regarding the auditing and governance of publicly held corporations and the practice of public accounting. This entry discusses the structure, historical context, establishment, and analysis of the work of the PCAOB.

Structure of the PCAOB

Title I of the SOX sets out the responsibilities of the PCAOB: “to oversee the audit of public companies … subject to the securities laws … to protect the interests of investors and further the public interest in … informative, accurate, and independent audit reports.” The PCAOB articulates its mission as follows: “Despite the PCAOB’s federal charter, Congress created it as ...

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