The PCAOB was established by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 to oversee public companies' audits to protect the interests of investors and further the public interest in the preparation of informative, accurate, and independent audit reports.
Since 2010, the PCAOB's mission has also included overseeing the audits of brokers and dealers registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The PCAOB has four primary duties:
• Register public accounting firms that prepare audit reports for issuers, brokers, and dealers.
• Establish or adopt auditing and related attestation, quality control, ethics, and independence standards.
• Inspect registered firms' audits and quality control systems.
• Investigate and discipline registered public accounting firms and their associated persons for violations of specified laws, rules, or professional standards.
In support of our mission, we also conduct economic research and risk analysis, engage with our stakeholders and other domestic and international regulators, and manage a talented workforce and the technology and resources we need to perform our duties.
The Board of the PCAOB comprises five members, including a chairman, who is appointed to staggered five-year terms by the SEC. After consultation with the chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Treasury secretary. The SEC has oversight authority over the PCAOB, including the approval of the Board's rules, standards, and budget.
The PCAOB has approximately 800 staff members. We maintain our headquarters in Washington, D.C., and have offices located in 15 cities across the United States.
Approximately 1,900 public accounting firms located in 85 countries across the globe are currently registered with us. About 600 of those registered firms audit more than 12,000 issuers that file financial statements with the SEC or otherwise play a substantial role in those audits.