PCAOB's Push For Public Hearings Worries Auditors

Law360 (April 12, 2011, 7:15 PM EDT) -- With the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board actively pushing to make its disciplinary hearings public, experts say auditors fear the public airing of misconduct allegations could damage their biggest selling point — their reputation.

At an April 6 hearing of the Senate Banking Committee's Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance and Investment, PCAOB Chairman James R. Doty said his agency needs the authority to hold public disciplinary hearings and halt potentially harmful practices while litigation is pending, in order to protect investors.

Doty said the secrecy, a hallmark of the PCAOB since its inception, prevents investors from knowing whether companies are being audited...

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