PCAOB Opens Regional Office in California

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) recently announced the opening of a regional office in southern California, bringing the total number of regional offices to five. The new office, located in Orange County, joins existing locations in Atlanta, Dallas, New York and San Francisco. In addition, the Board is in the process of establishing offices in the Chicago and Denver areas.

The regional offices primarily support the PCAOB’s inspections program, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Board’s standards-setting, registration and enforcement groups are also based in Washington.

“It is through PCAOB’s regional offices that our duties under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act move from theory to practice,” said PCAOB Chairman William J. McDonough. “All of our offices are currently looking to add to their ranks qualified audit professionals who want to be in the forefront of defining change in the public accounting profession.”

Members of the PCAOB’s Office of Registration and Inspections are currently conducting annual inspections of firms with more than 100 public company audit clients, as well as a selection of other registered firms.

“We are striving to build a highly motivated, professional and experienced, world-class team of inspectors to play a critical role in the restoration of public confidence in the accounting profession and in our markets,” said George Diacont, Director of Registration and Inspections at PCAOB.

The southern California office is led by Associate Director of Inspections Gary McCormick, a former partner at Deloitte & Touche and former president of the Fraud Discovery Institute. Mr. McCormick began his auditing career in 1980, in the financial services and real estate industries. He spent five years as the Professional Practice Director for the San Diego office of Deloitte & Touche. He graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.

PCAOB’s Dallas office and its inspections team are led by Deputy Director of Inspections Dennis Jennings, a former partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Mr. Jennings has 33 years of experience in auditing, specializing in energy, manufacturing, hospitality and consumer products. Mr. Jennings was a member of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ international executive committee in the Global Risk Management Solutions Group and led the group’s international energy and mining practice. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from Texas Tech University.

The San Francisco office is led by Associate Director of Inspections Helen Munter, a former partner at Deloitte & Touche where she held various positions over a 16-year span. Most recently she was an Audit Partner and Deputy Director of Professional Practice for Northern California. In this capacity, she performed internal control assessments, handled all communications with audit committees, and provided consultation on matters of risk management, technical accounting, auditing, and oversight of engagement teams. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Economies of Industrial Societies from the University of California at Berkeley.

The Atlanta office is headed by Associate Director of Inspections Jeffrey Hughes. Prior to joining the PCAOB, Mr. Hughes was an audit partner at Ernst & Young in the Washington, D.C., area. While at Ernst & Young, he served clients in multiple industries and participated in the firm’s local and national recruiting and education initiatives. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the College of William and Mary.

The New York regional office’s inspection team is led by Deputy Director of Inspections Paul E. Bijou, a former partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Mr. Bijou has 26 years of experience in auditing, specializing in banking, manufacturing, automotive and consumer products. Mr. Bijou was a leader in the internal controls services group of PricewaterhouseCoopers and led the New York practice for the firm. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from Iona College in New York.

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