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Statement at Open Meeting on 2017 PCAOB Budget

Commissioner Michael S. Piwowar

Dec. 14, 2016

Thank you, Chair White. Good morning, Chairman Doty, Board Members, and staff from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB or Board).

This is the fourth time that I have voted on the PCAOB budget. It is the first time, however, that I have voted for the final budget in accordance with the timetable of our Rule 190, which sets a deadline of December 23 for this action. Well-deserved credit for this accomplishment goes to our new chief accountant, Wes Bricker as well as our chief financial officer, Ken Johnson and their staffs for making this happen on schedule. I also want to recognize former deputy chief accountant, Brian Croteau, for his assistance on the PCAOB budget over the years.

Unfortunately, for the second time, I will not be able to vote in favor of the PCAOB budget. While I appreciate the efforts by some Board members to control spending, these efforts have been unsuccessful in producing an appropriately sized budget. Even though the overall headcount of the PCAOB will not increase, this year’s budget contains significant increases, principally related to compensation, that continue to drive PCAOB spending and the accounting support fee higher and higher.

I have concerns about the continued escalation of PCAOB costs. More concerning, however, is that the PCAOB costs continue to increase despite years of promises to finalize a comprehensive compensation framework as well as an evaluation of staffing levels across all offices, divisions, and programs. My understanding is that the PCAOB will complete both of these projects prior to the submission of its 2018 preliminary budget. I intend to hold the PCAOB to that promise.

Finally, I want to thank Chairman Doty for his steadfast support of integrating economic analysis into the Board’s operations and standard setting. When we first met after I took office as commissioner, you described your ideas for the increasing role of economists and creating the Center for Economic Analysis at the PCAOB. I have enjoyed watching the Center grow and develop since then. I think the results have improved the Board’s efforts and it was a privilege to address the PCAOB’s 2016 Conference on Auditing and Capital Markets this past October.[1]

I look forward to working with the members of the Board and its staff in 2017 and have no questions.


[1] Michael S. Piwowar, Remarks at 2016 Conference on Auditing and Capital Markets (Oct. 21, 2016), available at https://www.sec.gov/news/speech/piwowar-speech-conference-auditing-capital-markets-102116.html.