PCAOB Boosts Budget 11.4% to Accommodate Increased Inspections

The PCAOB has increased its budget for the 2012 fiscal year by 11.4%, or $23.3 million, over the 2011 budget, according to a news release.

The 2012 budget is approximately $227.7 million, compared with $204.4 million for the 2011 fiscal year. The budget is subject to SEC approval.

Staffing and associated expenses such as travel, especially in the PCAOB’s Division of Registration and Inspections, are the primary reasons for growth in the 2012 budget, according to the release. Additional funds are needed to accommodate increased non-U.S. inspections. The PCAOB must also maintain the current scope and pace of inspections of domestic firms, and oversee the audits of broker-dealers as required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Dodd-Frank, passed in 2010, requires the board to allocate an appropriate portion of the accounting support fee to broker-dealers. Approximately $18.2 million of the total accounting support fee of $215 million is allocated to broker-dealers, with $196.8 million allocated to public companies.

The accounting support fee is determined by subtracting the registration and annual fees paid by registered public accounting firms from the PCAOB’s annual budget.

The board also approved its strategic plan for 2011 through 2015 to serve as the foundation for the 2012 budget, in accordance with SEC regulations.

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

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