PCAOB formalizes chief auditor position

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The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has appointed Barbara Vanich as its chief auditor after serving as interim chief auditor for nearly two years.

Vanich was appointed Acting Chief Auditor in November 2020 after serving as Deputy Chief Auditor, Associate Chief Auditor and Special Advisor. She has worked for the PCAOB since 2009.

Previously, she was an auditor at KPMG, a director at Navigant and a vice president at JPMorgan Chase.

Vanich will continue to lead the PCAOB’s Office of the Chief Auditor, managing the development of PCAOB standards and ensuring the standards are communicated to auditors and other stakeholders.

“OCA is an exceptional team of talented professionals, and I am honored to be their leader,” Vanich said in a statement Friday. “I look forward to what we can accomplish in executing the board’s plan to modernize PCAOB standards for the benefit of investors and our capital markets.”

The modernization of a large number of older standards is one of the main objectives that the PCAOB has set for itself in its draft strategic plan. Some of the standards date back to before the founding of the PCAOB after the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and were inherited from the American Institute of CPAs.

“High-quality standards are the foundation of quality audits, and modernizing our standards is strategically vital to the PCAOB,” PCAOB President Erica Williams said in a statement. “As we pursue the most ambitious standards program in PCAOB history, we will continue to rely on Barb’s outstanding leadership, experience and dedication to our mission of protecting investors.”

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