The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 created the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (hereafter, PCAOB) to oversee audits of public companies. When violations of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act or PCAOB rules are found, the PCAOB may impose sanctions as severe as revoking a firm's registration or barring a person from participating in audits of public companies. This paper describes the PCAOB enforcement actions issued through 2008. We examine characteristics of the disciplined firms, their PCAOB inspections, the related issuer clients, and the circumstances that resulted in the disciplinary proceedings. Consistent with prior research, we find that firms with issues rising to the level of disciplinary action generally have longer inspections and more audit deficiencies than firms with inspection deficiencies not resulting in sanctions. Disciplined firms also tend to have fewer partners, audit more SEC issuers, and have clients that are smaller and less financially sound.
- Disciplinary proceeding