On August 16, 2011, the Public Accounting and Oversight Board (“PCAOB” – the regulator of auditors of publicly-traded companies) issued a concept release that reopens the idea that auditors of publicly traded companies should be forced to rotate/drop their clients after some lengthy period, such as ten years. This would dramatically change the auditing business for publicly-traded companies. This idea has been offered numerous times in the past, but each prior time the public accounting profession and its large clients have successfully beaten the proposals back.
The PCAOB’s concept release provided 21 questions for which they are seeking input. Comments will be accepted through December 14, 2011. A public “roundtable” is planned in March 2012. A more detailed discussion of the underlying issues can be found here.