BDO restructures assurance practice, forms Audit Quality Advisory Council

Hanah Lopes

BDO USA LLP is taking steps to improve its audits, hiring a former official from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board to join its audit leadership team, restructuring its assurance practice and creating an Audit Quality Advisory Council.

As part of the restructuring, the Top 10 Firm’s assurance practice is being divided into two separate functional areas and reporting structures. The first area consolidates the operational, professional and client services aspects of the business under one umbrella. The second functional area encompasses quality management, inspections and independence, and will report to Lillian Ceynowa, a former PCAOB associate chief auditor, who is joining the firm as its audit quality and quality management leader. 

Ceynowa has over 30 years of public company auditing experience. She worked at the PCAOB for more than a decade, and was responsible for developing and advising on auditing and related professional practice standards, including auditor independence rules. Prior to the PCAOB, she worked for the Center for Audit Quality, the American Institute of CPAs and KPMG.

BDO New York offices

The new Audit Quality Advisory Council will give the firm input on its quality management system. The council includes an independent member, Jim Brady, vice chairman of advisory services at alliantgroup and a former vice chair at Grant Thornton, to provide a more objective perspective. Other members of the council include BDO’s Phillip Austin, William Eisig, Maria Karalis and Steven Shill.

BDO also released its latest Audit Quality Report, detailing the firm’s commitment to achieving the highest standards of audit quality.

“Delivering high-quality audits is fundamental to building integrity, trust and confidence in the capital markets,” said BDO CEO Wayne Berson in a statement Monday. “By strengthening our commitment to audit quality through these strategic initiatives, we seek to bring investors and other stakeholders greater confidence in the overall financial reporting ecosystem.”

Firms like BDO have been taking steps to improve audit quality as the PCAOB steps up enforcement. In 2020, PwC formed an Assurance Quality Advisory Committee with several prominent outside members including former Securities and Exchange Commission Commissioner Troy Paredes, former Commerce Secretary and Kellogg CEO Carlos Gutierrez, former U.S. Navy Admiral Carol Pottenger and former Financial Accounting Standards Board Chairman Russell Golden (see story).

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