PCAOB Guidance Would Undermine Auditor Independence, Deceive the Public

Investor Groups Call on PCAOB to Withdraw and SEC to Disavow the Guidance

Washington, D.C. – Leading national investor groups, including CFA, wrote to the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to voice concerns about PCAOB staff guidance, issued last year, that they said would both undermine auditor independence and deceive the investing public. The groups expressed particular concern that the staff guidance would permit firms to claim in communications to the public that an audit was independent and conducted in accordance with PCAOB standards even when violations of the auditor independence rules occurred. The groups urged the SEC chairman to require the PCAOB to withdraw this guidance immediately and to affirm that the position adopted by PCAOB in this guidance is inconsistent with SEC policy and federal securities laws.