PCAOB OKs 2012 Budget, Strategic Plan

Jack Humphrey, Regulatory journalist
December 12, 2011 /

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has approved its 2011-2015 Strategic Plan and 2012 fiscal-year budget of approximately $227.7 million.

The Board approved its strategic plan for 2011-2015 to serve as the foundation for the 2012 budget, as required by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s PCAOB budget rule.

The budget is $23.3 million, or 11.4 percent, above the Board’s 2011 budget of $204.4 million.

“The budget and the strategic plan build on the foundation laid over the last nine years. But they also reflect current challenges and the public’s expectations for the organization,” said PCAOB Chairman James R. Doty.

The total accounting support fee for 2012 is $215 million, with approximately $196.8 million allocated to public companies and $18.2 million to broker-dealers.

Pursuant to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the accounting support fee is determined by subtracting the registration and annual fees paid by registered public accounting firms from the PCAOB annual budget. The Dodd-Frank Act required the Board to allocate an appropriate portion of the accounting support fee to broker-dealers.

The primary drivers of growth in the 2012 budget are staffing and associated expenses, such as travel. The need for these additional resources, overwhelmingly in the PCAOB Division of Registration and Inspections, is to accommodate an increase in the number of non-U.S. inspections, while maintaining the current scope and pace of inspections of domestic firms and execute the Board’s mandate under Dodd-Frank to oversee the audits of broker-dealers.

The budget assumes 98 new positions to reach a 2012 year-end projected total of 810 staff. The Division of Registration and Inspections accounts for 90 of these additional positions and the Division of Enforcement and Investigations accounts for three of these positions.

As of Nov. 22, 2011, there are 2,405 public accounting firms registered with the PCAOB, including 908 based outside the United States, and 561 that registered since the beginning of 2009 because they audit nonpublic broker-dealers.

The 2012 budget is subject to approval by the SEC. A summary of the 2012 budget will be available on the PCAOB website once it is submitted to the SEC for consideration.


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