The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) is requesting $349.5 million for its 2023 budget and a $329.4 million accounting support fee to fund it. Sarbanes-Oxley gave the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) responsibility for approving the PCAOB’s budget, and the associated accounting support fee levied on companies and SEC-registered broker-dealers to fund the budget. I cannot support the PCAOB’s 2023 budget and accounting support fee, which—continuing the PCAOB’s budget expansion—are substantially higher than the 2022 numbers and may facilitate mission-creep at the PCAOB.
The PCAOB budget process is a clunky accountability tool, one ill-suited to assess the appropriateness of a tax that now tops $300 million. As the PCAOB’s budget and the accounting support fee continue to creep higher, a structure that would afford Congress more direct oversight of the audit regulator could enhance its efficacy and accountability.
Source: PCAOB’s Ballooning Budget