Difference between PCAOB and AICPA(PCAOB Vs AICPA)


AICPA and PCAOB, both have a major involvement in setting the accounting and auditing standards of the United States to improve the auditing terms for trading sectors. Both are different organizations that have different sets of policies and procedures to understand audit reports to the public corporations and brokers. Corporate failures in making audit reports were the main reason for these organizations to set up auditing standards for the improvement of auditing systems.


Stands for

PCAOB stands for Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and AICPA stands for American Institute of CPA.

Organization type

PCAOB is a non-profit organization that offers audit services and access audit reports for inspection of the trading public companies and brokers which is overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). When accounting scandals occurred in the 1990s, PCAOB had entered with the act of Sarbanes-Oxley 2002 to reduce audit risk by following its policies. They ensure investors and audit committees follow strict guidelines that are made by them if they want to have accurate audit reports.

AICPA also works for the non-profit organization of CPI in the US. The First creator of financial accounting standards in the United States under GAAP for some years but after that, it had been transferred to the financial accounting standards board. It has more power and authority than PCOAB in terms of accounting control. As we said above in the first para, initial auditing and standards have been set up by AICPA which is known as a professional organization that performs various activities such as conducting CPA exams, education programs, audit research for audit services for other professional associations. Mainly, they conduct CPA exams for future accountants or learners but also set a standard to perform an audit for every kind of business.

Understand their purpose

With what purpose do they come? It’s important to get the answer to this question. The organization reacted in the 1999s due to various accounting scandals, they wanted to protect investors, audit committees, shareholders all those who have been forcefully involved in those scandals due to failing in preparing auditing reports by setting auditing standards. That was a cooled reaction or action that came from the board to protect the company’s golden members like investors and shareholders with prepared audit guidelines to make error-free reports. They came with strategic plans and quality control standards for the implementation of a new audit report format in which no risk had been found. The board came up with strategic plans to improve the failed condition of the audit system with accounting standards. The 5 strategic plans involve quality control of audit services with a new implementation, prevention, methods, and standards, secondly, drastic face changes with new challenges, risks, and more opportunities, third to enhance the positivity for stakeholders and investors by ensuring that the financial statements contain a set of rules and policies, fourth is to use of basic resources and technologies to improve efficiency, a fifth is to increase the empowerment of people towards goals by sharing crucial information to bring reliability in auditing reports and safe from penalties.

The purpose of AICPA is to provide education services along with conducting CPA exams. Generally, it works in different areas such as the government, education, and finance sector with set accounting standards and auditing standards for private companies and government accountant offices. With technology and planning, they offer auditing and accounting services as well as CPA services to CPA professionals.

Total registered firms

PCAOB has a 1,726 number of firms registered with PCAOB in the United States according to the research of PCAOB.

ACIPA has more registered members than PCAOB which is 4,31,000. Members are related to the same industries such as business, education, finance, and accounting sector.


The PCAOB performs the role of an inspector who inspects the accounting firms who have high risk in the auditing part. With accounting and auditing standards, they inspect by focusing on their previous and current accounting and auditing reports with a professional attitude along with rules and policies that have been set earlier. They mainly inspect large public companies that pass a large number of audit reports monthly or quarterly with high risk. The public companies are under the control of the board in terms of financial reporting and auditing errors. Their only concern for the accounting part is so that they can verify audit reports made by the internal auditors before finalized. If they find any errors or imperfections, the audit reports are rejected by the auditors and tell them to make new ones by following given accounting standards.

ACIPA has great involvement in financial statements and the business industry in setting auditing standards and making new advanced auditing policies for audit professionals. Their role of continuing research is beneficial for the members who are involved with them, they help them to develop education and business materials to enhance these sectors and fight against audit frauds. Conduct training courses and seminars for learners as well as professionals on major topics like GAAP and other financial reports. Alert the audit committee by informing them about the company’s auditor weakness.

Right to take action

PCAOB has full authority to inspect any public companies to monitor their audit reports for maintaining the trust of investors and shareholders towards the company. They can charge penalties on companies if they find errors or misstatements in audit reports. Control authority has in their hand to improve the performance in the auditing industry.

As you know, AICPA has highly qualified profile members in the accounting of the United States. Obtaining a license to run with a CPA profile is a big opportunity in which accounting knowledge is required to survive in the accounting industry so they are eligible to find out inaccuracy and accounting errors in any business of its members by requesting statements.

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