SEC and PCAOB actions against accountants dropped significantly in 2018

By John Filar AtwoodThe PCAOB finalized only 13 enforcement actions against accountants in 2018 representing a 63 percent decline from the 35 actions in 2017, according to a new report from Cornerstone Research. The number of SEC enforcement actions against accountants in 2018 was 32, down 20 percent from the 40 in 2017.Cornerstone noted in a news release that 2017 was the PCAOB’s most active year of enforcement against accountants, which the report defines as certified public accountants employed by SEC registrants, auditors, and audit firms in the U.S. Conversely, 2018’s tally was the lowest since 2013 and only about 40 percent of the 2015-2017 average of 32 actions.The head of Cornerstone’s accounting practice said that the decline in enforcement actions against accountants at the PCAOB corresponded to significant changes in leadership at the board.PCAOB actions. The report states that audits of brokers and dealers continued to represent a large percentage…

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