PracticeAuditHiring hitch sees US watchdog revise budget

Hiring hitch sees US watchdog revise budget

A failure to find enough experienced auditors has forced the US accounting watchdog to revise its budget downwards for the forthcoming year, and is likely to see its ambitious inspection programme curtailed.

Link: PCAOB to investigate KPMG audit

Instead of the 300 staff it predicted in October would be in place by the end of the year, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board said that it began 2005 with just 262 employees, as hiring ‘occurred at a slower-than-forecast rate’.

In light of this shrunken headcount, it has reduced its budget from $152.5m (£80.5m) to $136.1m, to reflect ‘a reduction in anticipated salary expense, and corresponding reductions in related benefits and payroll tax expenses’.

The board had also anticipated a 50% increase in staffing levels during the year, to bring numbers up to 450. The extra staff were largely expected to be experienced auditors to carry out inspections of the 1,400 auditing firms registered with the PCAOB.

But a ‘tight job market’ may mean chairman William McDonough will have to boost salary packages to potential employees to hit PCAOB targets.

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