The Securities and Exchange Commission approved Wednesday the 2017 budget for the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, allotting $268.5 million, a 4.2% increase over the PCAOB’s 2016 budget and a 6.2% increase over the amount the the board expects to spend in 2016. 

The budget is allocated as follows: $232.6 million to be assessed on issuers and $35.4 million to be assessed on registered broker-dealers.

PCAOB, established under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, is the independent overseer of the audits and auditors of the financial statements of U.S. public companies, as well as SEC-registered BDs.

The Dodd-Frank Act amended the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to, among other things, give the PCAOB oversight authority for the audits of broker-dealers registered with the SEC.

PCAOB perform its oversight through four primary responsibilities: registration, inspections, standard-setting and enforcement.

SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White said in her Wednesday comments at the open meeting to approve the budget that “through its inspections and work that supports the inspections program, the PCAOB must continue to focus on identifying and addressing new and emerging risks to audit quality.” It is equally important, she added, “that the auditing standards applicable to audits of public companies and broker-dealers are rigorous, high-quality, and keep pace with changes to financial reporting and the needs of investors.”

White said to this end, “it is imperative for the PCAOB to have and maintain an active standard-setting agenda and for timely progress to be made on its standard-setting projects.”

PCAOB released in 2014 staff guidance to help auditors of brokers-dealers registered with the SEC to plan and perform audits in accordance with PCAOB standards. A subsequent PCAOB report issued in 2015 found that its first five inspections of broker-dealer audit and new attestation engagements subject to PCAOB standards showed deficiencies in the auditors’ application of these standards.

— Check out BD Audits Failing to Meet New Standards on ThinkAdvisor.