March 10, 2004

The PCAOB’s Open Meeting Regarding

As a frequent attendee of open SEC Commission meetings over the years, I was curious how the PCAOB’s first open meeting to deal with a substantive rulemaking would be run yesterday. Overall, the meeting was very well run and I was pleased to be handed copies of the releases that were approved during the meeting on the way out (and the releases were soon posted on the PCAOB website thereafter – in comparison, it takes the SEC a few days).

Another distinction was the meeting location – it was held at a hotel since the PCAOB HQ can’t accommodate large crowds (about 200 attended live – it was also webcast). Otherwise, the meeting was run much like a SEC meeting (e.g. plenty of lovin’ for the staffers who wrote the rules), with minor differences such as each Board Member reading a statement regarding the internal control adopting release – and only one Board Member, Dan Goelzer, who is a former SEC GC, asking questions.

Note that the SEC Chief Accountant is quoted in today’s paper as saying it would take the SEC around 6-7 weeks to vote on the PCAOB’s final rule.

Copyright Squabble Continues Between PCAOB and AICPA

During the part of the open meeting when the PCAOB proposed changes to its interim standards (which was necessary to accommodate the internal controls rulemaking), Board Member Kayla Gillan noted that the proposing release would only have excerpts from the applicable standards – and thus a lack of transparency – due to an ongoing dispute with the AICPA regarding copyright protection of the standards that the AICPA issued in the past. Dan Goelzer weighed in on this topic as well.

As I blogged about last year, I agree that the AICPA really has to get off the dime here and allow its standards to be transparent. This issue is emblematic of all that was wrong with the AICPA when it was the nominal watchdog of the profession.

SEC Proposes National Market System Changes

Here is a link to a Federal Register copy of the proposing release on proposed Regulation NMS applicable to the National Market System. This is a more manageable 91 page document – compared to the 346 page document on the SEC website. One proposal in particular would establish a uniform trade-through rule for all market centers, with certain exceptions. Comments are due by May 24.