The PCAOB recently announced the new members of their Standing Advisory Group for new two-year terms starting in January. The Standing Advisory Group stands around at a bar in Washington DC three times a year and makes up stuff for the PCAOB to announce so they look like they are making progress.
Actually, the intent is that they advise the Board on the establishment of auditing and related professional practice standards. It is intended to be composed of 36 highly qualified persons representing the auditing profession, public companies, investors, and others. The Board also has granted six organizations observer status with speaking rights at all SAG meetings: The Auditing Standards Board of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Department of Labor, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the Government Accountability Office, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In May 2007, the Board began soliciting nominations and re-nominations to fill the slots of those whose terms ended this year. The Board received approximately 90 nominations and re-nominations. Yours truly submitted a self-nomination. I actually met with the young woman who was coordinating the process when I went to Washington DC in early June for the Compliance Week Conference. However, she was planning on leaving the agency shortly, like so many have done recently and so I started to worrry that my candidacy would not get the attention it deserved. But these are accountants and lawyers! Of course they would at least send an acknowledgement of my interest and a note at the end of the process thanking me for my interest. For gosh sakes, there were only 90 nominees. Or would they?
I watched my email each month with high anticipation expecting to hear from them. I may be a critic, but there’s no person more passionate about the audit firms, their regulation and the standards they should be following. I would have even volunteered to take the minutes. Can’t they see that?
Even though visitors from the PCAOB peruse my blog every day (Yes! Every Day!) looking for new insights and probably gossip, sometimes reading more than one page at a sitting, sometimes looking more than once at one in particular, I never hear from them. I thought at least they would say, “Thanks, but you’re not our kind,” or maybe, “Thanks, but someone from the Big 4 said no way…” or maybe, “Thanks, but you’re not a lawyer or a muckety-muck, or a yes-girl or a rah-rah or part of the clique…”
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But nothing. I’m a little miffed, but I sort of understand. I would have insisted on monthly meetings, a suite at the Mayfair, and much longer intense meetings than the brief agendas I’ve seen, full of prepared presentations and fait accomplis.
I’m not a joiner, but every once and a while I find a group that seems like it would be a lot of fun to play with.