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Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB)

A private-sector, non-profit corporation created as part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOx). The PCAOB developed in response to the auditing failures that were associated with several high-profile corporate bankruptcies in the early 2000s. Its purpose is to oversee the accounting firms that audit public corporations, in an effort to protect the interests of the investing public. The PCAOB consists of five members, including its chairman, each of whom the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) appoints. It conducts inspections of public accounting firms, develops auditing quality control standards, and conducts investigations and disciplinary proceedings.


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