New PCAOB policy describes rewards for extraordinary cooperation

BY KEN TYSIAC

Registered public accounting firms and auditors whose cooperation with PCAOB investigations is deemed “extraordinary” may be rewarded with reduced penalties in disciplinary proceedings.

The PCAOB issued a formal policy statement Wednesday that defines extraordinary cooperation and describes incentives for firms and individuals that make voluntary, extra efforts to aid the PCAOB during investigations.

Possible incentives include:

  • Language in settlement documents noting the cooperation and its effect.
  • Reduced charges or sanctions.
  • In exceptional cases, a decision by the PCAOB to levy no charges or sanctions at all.


Extraordinary cooperation is defined as voluntary and timely action beyond compliance with legal or regulatory obligations, according to the policy statement. Examples include:

  • Self-reporting violations. Disclosure of violations before they are discovered by the board or another regulator increases in value when the self-report occurs early.
  • Remedial or corrective action to reduce the likelihood of similar violations.
  • Providing substantial assistance during the PCAOB’s investigative process.


The policy is generally consistent with the board’s existing practices, according to the PCAOB.

Ken Tysiac ( ktysiac@aicpa.org ) is a JofA senior editor.

SPONSORED REPORT

Time to prepare for overtime changes

As an employer, trusted business adviser, or HR professional, you will need to be aware of exemption guidance, record requirements, advice for clients, and typical problems in applying overtime pay.

QUIZ

News quiz: Good news on pay and benefits for accountants

CPAs can find much to like in recent reports, including news that their expertise and skills are in such demand that pay is expected to rise and that their employers value professional certifications.

CHECKLIST

Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.