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Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB)

Who is the PIOB?

The Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB) is an international body that oversees the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). They seek to improve the quality and public interest focus of the IFAC standards in the areas of audit, education, and ethics.

The formation of the PIOB.

The PIOB was created in 2005. It’s creation followed a a series or corporate scandals. The include the collapse of Enron and WorldCom in the United States and Parmalat in Europe. These undermined public confidence in the conduct and competence of audit practitioners. It led to a huge demand for an overhaul of the IFAC. This also included an independent oversight body to ensure that all standards are in the public interest.

The board was established through a collaborative effort by members of the international financial regulatory community. They worked with the IFAC which was led by Michel Prada, Chairman of the French Financial Markets Authority and Deputy Chairman of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) Technical Committee.

The first chairman was Stavros Thomadakis. He was a Professor of Finance at the University of Athens. He also was the former chairman of the Hellenic Capital Market Commission. The new board was welcomed by regulatory bodies such as the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) of the United Kingdom.

PIOB Activities.

The PIOB oversees the public interest activities of three independent standard-setting boards supported by IFAC:. The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB), the International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) and the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA). The PIOB also oversees the IFAC’s Compliance Advisory Panel. They evaluate member body compliance with IFAC Statements of Membership Obligations. The Chairman of the PIOB has the right to attend and to speak at IFAC Board meetings.