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February 2, 2023

Consumer Protection Advocates Call on PCAOB for Stronger Quality Control Standards to Improve the All-Important Auditing Process

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Stephen Hall, Legal Director and Securities Specialist, issued the following statement on a joint letter from consumer protection advocates asking the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) to strengthen its proposed Quality Control Standard for audit firms:

“The PCAOB is responsible for making sure the auditing profession fulfills its duty as a critical gatekeeper for accurate and complete financial statements from public companies. Those disclosures are the lifeblood of our securities markets, representing some of the most important information that investors rely on when deciding how to allocate their funds.  Unfortunately, the PCAOB’s proposed Quality Control Standard is deficient and should be strengthened to adequately protect investors from inaccurate or misleading financial statements.

“It is the PCAOB’s responsibility to ensure that audit firms perform their gatekeeping function effectively and transparently.  One of the most important ways the Board does this is through its quality control standards. It is incumbent on the PCAOB to issue quality control standards that maximize audit quality and accountability and to ensure that these principles are rigorously applied throughout the entire audit process.

“There is compelling evidence that stronger quality control standards are necessary.  As explained in the joint letter, significant deficiencies repeatedly appear in the audit process.  The PCAOB should therefore revisit this proposal with the clear objective of proposing a Quality Control Standard that better prioritizes audit quality and accountability. And it should rethink the decision not to provide investors and the public with meaningful disclosure about the structure, operation, and effectiveness of a firm’s system of quality control. Transparency and accountability go hand in hand.”

You can find the letter here.


Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies—including many in finance—to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit

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