Inspectors are focused on revenue recognition and auditor independence in 2015 broker-dealer audit inspections, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCOAB) announced Tuesday.
Violations of SEC independence rules surfaced in over 20 percent of the broker-dealer audits examined by PCOAB examiners last year.
In particular, inspectors will be looking at whether broker-dealers are hiring the same firms to do their auditing and regular bookkeeping work, which would compromise the integrity of the audits, according to the board.
The agency said its concentration on independence and revenue recognition means broker-dealer audit exams will be less risk-focused than PCOAB reviews of audits of other public companies.
On revenue recognition, the PCAOB said it will be looking for weaknesses in fraud risk assessment on financial statements and incomplete or omitted disclosures.
The PCAOB noted inspectors also want to ensure broker-dealers have effective internal controls to comply with financial responsibility rules.
The agency plans to look at 115 audits of broker-dealers conducted by 75 auditing firms this year.