How Old Are Ye, PCAOB?

We're inspired by the regulator's birthday to review its short history -- by the numbers.

Five years ago, the Securities and Exchange Commission decided the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board was organized enough to fulfill its mission under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, officially making the PCAOB the audit firms’ new watchdog. PCAOB chairman Mark Olson has said April 25, 2008, marks the nongovernmental organization’s birthday.

In that spirit, we note the board’s short history, by the numbers:

4,000: Public-company audits reviewed

700: Number of inspections of small and large firms

17: Deloitte & Touche clients that had audit deficiencies in their 2004 audits, according to PCAOB inspectors

8: Staffers who began the PCAOB

477: Employees who worked for the board last year

7: People who have sat on the five-member board (including three chairmen, if you count former FBI and CIA head William Webster, whose brief stint as chair ended amid concerns about his involvement at a company accused of fraud)

2: The article and section number of the Constitution that the Free Enterprise Fund and an audit firm claim the PCAOB’s existence violates; currently being appealed, the case claims board appointments should be subject to government scrutiny beyond just the SEC’s authority

$2.92 million: The average compliance costs spent by companies during their third year of compliance with Section 404, according to Financial Executives International

5: Years CFOs went without knowing for sure how to implement 404, instead relying on the PCAOB’s guidance for auditors

185: Total number of pages dedicated to that guidance, known as AS2

59: The page count of AS2′s successor, called AS5

17: Enforcement actions the board has taken against auditors and firms

2: Audit firms that reviewed the PCAOB’s financial statements between 2003 and 2006 (Beers & Cutler and Blum Shapiro)

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