How the PCAOB changed US auditing

Author: Michael Washburn | Published: 30 Nov 2012
Daniel Goelzer
It was Enron's fall in 2001, and the damning realisation that public company accounting had given a positive diagnosis of the firm's finances, that prompted the enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on July 30 2002. But to the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) founding board member, Daniel Goelzer, the clear need for independent oversight of public company accountants didn't make it any easier to implement

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board sprang into existence with a clear mandate. The Enron debacle had so tarnished the profession's reputation that independent oversight was crucial to restoring a respected auditing profession.

But the PCAOB did not just have a moral mandate. It had a strong legal one too, with a unanimous vote for Sarbanes-Oxley in the Senate and only a...