2018 saw a drop in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s enforcement activities involving accountants, according to a report released by Cornerstone Research in April. The two bodies finalized 45 actions in 2018, while in 2017 they finalized 75 such actions. These efforts resulted in less than $3.3 million in monetary settlements from 32 of the 67 individual and audit firm respondents.

Cornerstone continued their research to determine if the six State Boards with the largest number of licensees named in these actions were following up on them. Cornerstone learned that for the SEC’s and PCAOB’s actions finalized in 2013-2017 a majority were followed up, resulting in the Boards’ actions against at least one individual or firm respondent. These State Boards on average completed follow-on actions approximately 18 months after the SEC’s or PCAOB’s actions were finalized.

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