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PCAOB ponders plateau, calls on firms to dig deeper

Tammy Whitehouse | January 30, 2018

After several years of regulatory audit inspections and some incremental improvements along the way, audit firms are still turning out deficiency rates that raise alarm. And now recent allegations of fraud and conspiracy at one Big 4 firm suggest at least some auditors are still in denial over the demand for better outcomes.

Since 2010, inspection reports from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board show major audit firms have turned out deficiency rates in the double digits, even approaching and exceeding 50 percent on a few occasions. Among the Big 4, the average deficiency rate peaked at 39 percent in 2013, then tapered to 35 percent in 2014 and 33 percent in 2015. Results for 2016 are...

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