Professional Issues


Less than two weeks before its self-imposed March 31 termination, the Public Oversight Board publishes a white paper, The Road to Reform, ( www.publicoversightboard.org/White_Pa.pdf ) proposing the creation—through federal legislation—of an independent organization that would assume the board’s responsibility for voluntary private-sector regulation of the profession. Among other things, the POB recommends the new body oversee and fund FASB—by means of fees imposed on public corporations—and also have the power to set and interpret auditing and independence standards, perform comprehensive annual reviews of firms auditing more than 100 public companies each year and investigate public firms’ wrongdoing, with the authority to compel testimony and obtain documents by subpoena. To protect small businesses and their audit firms from any unintended consequences of these proposals, the paper recommends making these organizations exempt from limits on the provision of nonaudit services to audit clients.

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