A bookkeeping error has left the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board with some high-profile invoices to correct and it has left some critics shaking their heads.
Bloomberg news has reported that the fee schedule calculated by the PCAOB for foreign companies used the wrong basis to figure fees for over 430 companies who sell shares on the U.S. market. Instead of using the value of the shares sold in the U.S. as the PCAOB intended, the board instead based the fees on the total market value of the companies.
"We were aware of that issue and we thought the data took care of it," Board member Bill Gradison told Bloomberg. "Until we find out what the accurate numbers are, it is not possible to tell what the shortfall will be."
The Board is currently sharpening it's pencils, and is recalculating the fees due from foreign companies. A spokesperson for the Board has indicated that no foreign company has yet paid the excessive bills, and that new invoices will be sent out as soon as possible.
Critics of the PCAOB aren't impressed.
"Maybe what we ought to do is have a board of accountants to oversee the accounting oversight board, so we have some people who know something about numbers," said Peter Wallison, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.