On Demand Audio

Responding to a PCAOB Investigation

(175 reviews)

Produced on October 16, 2018

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Course Information

Time 1h 2m
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) is a nonprofit corporation established by Congress under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 to oversee the audits of public companies in order to protect investors and the public interest by promoting informative, accurate, and independent audit reports. 2017 was another active year for the PCAOB’s Division of Enforcement and Investigations (DEI). The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) made 55 settled and adjudicated orders public in 2017 a slight decrease from the 59 disciplinary proceedings it made public in 2016.

Changes in the audit regulatory environment may soon lead to continued PCAOB enforcement activity. Attorneys who represent accounting firms and accountants must be familiar with the PCAOB investigatory process should their clients become the subject of a PCAOB investigation. This course, presented by Bob Cox of Briglia Hundley, P.C. provides an overview of the PCAOB informal and formal investigation process, including tips for managing and seeking early resolution of investigations.

Mr. Cox was previously an Assistant Director with PCAOB DEI for more than six years. Prior to the PCAOB, MR. Cox was a partner at the then largest litigation-focused law firm in the country where he handled complex antitrust, commercial, and securities cases.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Study PCAOB enforcement priorities and sources of investigations

  2. Examine the PCAOB informal inquiry process, including practical guidance for responding to information and document requests

  3. Distinguish the implications and different processes associated with the conversion of an informal inquiry to a formal investigation

  4. Provide practical guidance about testimony of witnesses in a formal investigation in terms of the process and rights of witnesses

  5. Gain a general understanding of a PCAOB disciplinary proceeding

Credit Information

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Robert Cox

Briglia Hundley, P.C.

Bob Cox is a trial attorney with over two decades of experience litigating all types of business cases in courts across the nation. Mr. Cox’s experience covers a wide range of matters involving securities, business torts, contracts, antitrust, intellectual property, real estate, and white collar criminal issues. He has represented parties in class actions, multi-district litigation (MDLs), government enforcement actions, private business disputes, and appeals in federal and state courts. Mr. Cox has experience managing all of a telecommunications company’s litigation over a several year period, totaling well over 100 separate pieces of litigation in courts throughout the United States. The telecommunications company had a forum selection provision in its contracts setting the federal court in Alexandria and the Fairfax Circuit Court as the venue for a majority of the cases. Mr. Cox not only took part in the management of these cases, he participated in the litigation of many of these matters, including examining witnesses at hearings and trial, taking and defending depositions, arguing key motions (i.e., summary judgment and dismissal), and drafting briefs and other pleadings. Mr. Cox also has substantial experience in securities enforcement and regulatory matters involving accounting firms and auditors.

Mr. Cox regularly represents accounting firms, corporations, corporate officers and directors, and financial industry professionals in civil, criminal, and regulatory matters, including investigations and enforcement proceedings before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). In addition, Mr. Cox conducts internal investigations and provides compliance counseling to prevent such investigations. He also represents accounting firms and accountants in professional malpractice matters.

Prior to joining Briglia Hundley, Mr. Cox was an Assistant Director in the PCAOB’s Division of Enforcement and Investigations for more than six years. While with the PCAOB, he handled numerous enforcement investigations and disciplinary proceedings against domestic and international accounting firms and auditors, including matters involving the Big Four and other Global Network accounting firms. He also coordinated enforcement matters with the SEC, FINRA, and foreign regulatory bodies.

Before the PCAOB, Mr. Cox was a partner at the largest litigation-focused law firm in the country where he handled complex antitrust, commercial, and securities cases.

Mr. Cox has authored several articles and treatises chapters on topics involving securities, antitrust, and litigation. For example, he is co-author of Chapter 11, Securities Damages” in Boushie, Spadea, & Cunniff, Calculating and Proving Damages (Law Journal Press 2011), a leading treatise on damages. He is also the author of Chapter 6, Collateral Estoppel and Prima Facie Effect, Antitrust Evidence Handbook, Third Edition (ABA 2016).

Mr. Cox has substantial experience teaching trial advocacy, including training litigators in depositions, examination of expert witnesses, and direct examination and cross-examination at trial. In addition, Mr. Cox has frequently spoken at professional conferences, training workshops, and continuing legal education courses, such as the FBI Academy at Quantico, VA and the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Mr. Cox is an active member of the Virginia State Bar. He has served as an elected member on the Virginia State Bar’s Disciplinary Sub-Committee for the Fifth District since 2018. He also has been active in the Fairfax Bar Association, serving on its Circuit Court Committee and Continuing Legal Education Committee.


R. Christopher R.


Ellen G.

This program clearly reviewed the steps within a PCAOB DEI investigation progresses. It provided meaningful steps to respond to PCAOB DEI informal inquiries and accounting board demands. I recommend this course for any firm with an outstanding PCAOB Informal Inquiry.

Frederic F.

Very Knowledgeable.

Steven K.

Very knowledgable presenter!

David R.

Good overview.

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