With the Public Company Accounting Oversight facing a constitutional challenge and the ongoing push to exempt smaller companies from Section 404 requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley, the PCAOB has come out saying it will try and pull gung-ho auditors into line.
In the PCAOB statement, acting chairman Bill Gradison said: "A key emphasis of the 2006 inspections will be the efficiency of the firms' performance of audits of internal control over financial reporting. "As part of PCAOB's efforts to improve the cost-effectiveness of these audits, our inspectors, as they go into the field, will be making a focused effort to ascertain that auditors have achieved the objectives described in the Board's internal control auditing standard with the least expenditure of effort and resources."
That's a coded warning for over-zealous auditors, but it's also a piece of damage control from an organisation under seige.
Meanwhile in Australia, the Federal Government's audit independence watchdog has announced an unprecedented review into auditors' ethics and whether their professional associations are up to the job of keeping them in line.