James Kaiser, a member of the Community Enterprise Accounting Oversight Board due to the fact 2018, is leaving the PCAOB and will be changed by chief auditor Megan Zietsman in a different signal of turmoil at the team overseeing auditing benchmarks and audit business inspections.

Kaiser was just one of a team of all new board customers introduced to the PCAOB in an exertion to shake up the board, some of whose previous associates experienced served for just about a 10 years. Officially the board customers are appointed to staggered 5-year terms by the Securities and Trade Fee, but the slate of board associates tapped by the SEC in late 2017 to provide with PCAOB chairman William Duhnke inherited partial terms. One of the board users, Kathleen Hamm, was replaced previous year by a previous White Residence aide, Rebekah Goshorn Jurata (see tale).

Hamm experienced expressed a need to keep on for a different time period prior to her partial phrase finished. In distinction, Kaiser announced in June that he prepared to retire when his expression ended in October. The SEC commenced in search of candidates to fill his placement, which is one particular of two CPA slots established apart on the board.

Many of the other major officials at the PCAOB have also departed in modern decades and the board has held couple of general public meetings considering that the new board took more than, including with its Standing Advisory Team and Investor Advisory Team. That prompted issues from some Senate Democrats concerned about political interference and a deregulatory mindset at the SEC and the Trump administration. Insiders have expressed problem about the ties of quite a few PCAOB board users and officials to Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and SEC chairman Jay Clayton. Board member positions at the PCAOB are sought just after for their higher shell out of $550,000 per 12 months for frequent board customers, and $670,000 for the chairman submit.

PCAOB member James Kaiser speaking at the AICPA Meeting on Present-day SEC and PCAOB Developments

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Kaiser was appointed by the SEC in Dec. 2017 and commenced his expression in March 2018. He is a CPA who joined the PCAOB soon after retiring from PricewaterhouseCoopers after 38 years, like 28 decades as an audit lover. His time period was set to conclude this thirty day period. At the time he was appointed, Kaiser was the to start with auditor from a Massive Four business appointed to the PCAOB, which was recognized by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 in the wake of a series of accounting scandals in the early 2000s at companies like Enron and WorldCom.

The PCAOB has in the earlier reappointed many of its members to provide for far more than one particular phrase or extended their conditions, but like Hamm, Kaiser’s tenure ended just after significantly less than a full expression. During that time, nevertheless, he spoke frequently at accounting conferences alongside fellow board member Duane DesParte. He was also greatly concerned in setting the new strategic plan for what is been dubbed “PCAOB 2.0” and for promoting the use of audit engineering.

“It has been an honor to provide buyers and the community fascination,” Kaiser reported in a statement Thursday. “I am very pleased of the quite a few achievements we have produced to advance our strategic program and enrich audit excellent for the duration of my term. We have elevated our stakeholder engagement, enhanced our inspections method and reporting, and formulated a program to technologies-help the PCAOB.”

His successor, Megan Zietsman, has been main auditor and director of experienced standards of the PCAOB due to the fact February 2019. Prior to signing up for the PCAOB, she was a partner in Deloitte & Touche LLP’s experienced practice community in the U.S. She also served on the American Institute of CPAs’ Auditing Standards Board from 2007 to 2011, and on the International Auditing and Assurance Benchmarks Board from 2014 to 2019, most recently as deputy chair of the IAASB. She has 31 yrs of encounter in auditing.

This 7 days, a further PCAOB board member, J. Robert Brown, unveiled a assertion criticizing the PCAOB for ignoring the strategic plan in getting rid of a range of projects from its standard-location and investigate agendas and for proposing to depend on an IAASB good quality handle standard as the starting up issue for revising its own audit top quality management regular (see story). “The revised agendas do not sufficiently demonstrate the causes for the removing of these goods or involve any dialogue of how investor worries that brought about them to be added to the agendas in the 1st location were being resolved,” he wrote. “Moreover, their removal and relegation to a position of ‘monitor[ing] related developments’ is problematic in mild of the specific great importance of these places in an economic ecosystem deeply impacted by the continuing pandemic.”

Zietsman explained she would guard investor interests at the board. “The PCAOB plays these an important purpose in our worldwide cash markets,” she mentioned in a statement. “It is an honor and privilege for me to provide on the board of this incredibly significant business. I am energized to support the PCAOB continue to advance its strategic prepare and keep on its active engagement with stakeholders. I glimpse ahead to doing the job with my fellow board customers to keep on the PCAOB’s goals of preserving the desire of traders and boosting audit excellent.”

Duhnke praised both Kaiser and Zietsman. “The PCAOB has tremendously benefited from Jim’s strength and dedication to our mission and strategic system,” he said in a assertion. “His remarkable breadth of knowledge and depth of information have been instrumental in advancing a number of vital initiatives these kinds of as improving upon our stakeholder engagement, boosting our inspections’ process and reporting, and establishing a program to technological innovation-empower our organization.”

“As our Chief Auditor, Ms. Zietsman has been an instrumental part of the Board’s endeavours to enhance audit good quality,” Duhnke extra. “We search ahead to operating with Megan in her new job as we go on to leverage her deep knowledge to additional advance our strategic system.”

Clayton and SEC chief accountant Sagar Teotia both of those thanked Kaiser and Zietsman for their assistance at the PCAOB.

“I would like to thank Jim Kaiser for his dedicated community provider as a member of the PCAOB Board,” Clayton mentioned in a assertion. “Jim brought a extremely deep and a must have level of audit knowledge and experience to the board and we had been lucky that he was keen to give so a great deal time to community assistance immediately after a distinguished professional career. My interactions with Jim have been generally positive. He moved the PCAOB forward and I will miss out on his abilities and professionalism.”

“I would also like to thank Jim Kaiser for his dedicated provider and his contributions to maximizing audit top quality,” Teotia said in a assertion. “Jim has worked with a lot of others at the PCAOB to aid the organization go on its endeavours in advancing its strategic program. Especially, his know-how was crucial to assistance boost stakeholder engagement, boost the PCAOB inspections’ system, and progress the PCAOB from a technological place of view.”

“Megan Zietsman brings sizeable leadership practical experience and deep abilities in domestic and worldwide auditing and common location,” Clayton extra. “Megan’s abilities in mixture with the other associates will yield major rewards to the Board in its initiatives to promote audit good quality and advance its strategic agenda.”

“We glance forward to functioning with Megan Zietsman to even more the crucial operate of the PCAOB,” claimed Teotia in a statement. “In her function as the main auditor and director of professional requirements of the PCAOB, she built substantial contributions to audit excellent. Her deep knowledge of auditing and regular setting, as well as her wide working experience in speaking with traders, auditors, preparers and audit committees will help the PCAOB in increasing audit high quality.”