The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board announced yesterday the establishment of the Office of Outreach and Small Business Liaison.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act vested the PCAOB with the authority to oversee auditors of the financial statements and selected practices and procedures of SEC-registered securities broker-dealers.
In light of this new authority, the board reassessed its communications and outreach strategy and has decided to enhance its outreach function by establishing this new office.
The new office will be responsible for planning and conducting a program of small business forums, including both the board's existing Forums on Auditing in the Small Business Environment and new forums directed to the smaller broker-dealer and broker-dealer auditor communities.
The office also will seek input from the small business community, including public companies, brokers, and others, on issues related to the board's work. The office will serve as a point of contact for questions about the board's activities and assist in identifying areas where information related to the board's work may not be well understood and suggesting action to address these areas.
"The establishment of this new office will help better serve the needs of both the small business community and of others, including investors, who interact with the board or are affected by its activities", said PCAOB Acting Chairman Daniel L. Goelzer.
The director of the new office will report to the PCAOB chairman. On Tuesday, Goelzer announced that he has appointed Mary M. Sjoquist to serve as the first director of the new office. Sjoquist joined the PCAOB in 2003 as special counsel to board member Bill Gradison and, in 2009, became the director of the office of communications. Prior to her service at the board, Sjoquist was a partner in the Business Practice group at Patton Boggs LLP, in Washington, D.C., where she focused primarily on representation of small to mid-sized public companies and venture-funded private companies. She also worked in the Division of Corporation Finance, Office of Small Business Policy, at the Securities and Exchange Commission.
"Mary has been closely involved with the small business community throughout her career and that experience will greatly benefit the new office", Goelzer said.
Concurrent with the establishment of the new Office of Outreach and Small Business Liaison, the board is reorganizing its other communications functions. The board's press relations and government and congressional affairs functions, which had been part of the Office of Communications, will continue as separate offices. The Office of Public Affairs will be headed by Colleen Brennan and the Office of Government Relations will be headed by Kent Bonham.
The new Office of Outreach and Small Business Liaison can be reached at (202) 591-4135 or [email protected].