Robert Knechel
W. Robert Knechel, Frederick E. Fisher Eminent Scholar.

Warrington accounting professor named to national auditing board

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – W. Robert Knechel, Distinguished Professor, Frederick E. Fisher Eminent Scholar and Director of the International Accounting and Auditing Center, has been named to the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) Standards and Emerging Issues Advisory Group.

“I am very pleased to be appointed to this position because the PCAOB is clearly the top regulatory body for auditing in the world and this allows me to provide direct input into their deliberations,” Knechel said. “I was on a much larger advisory board for the PCAOB a few years ago, and I am pleased to see the group reconstituted into a smaller, potentially more effective, committee.”

Knechel’s service on the advisory group begins this May and will run through December 2024.

The PCAOB Standards and Emerging Issues Advisory Group (SEIAG) was established to advise on existing standards, proposed standards, potential new standards, and on matters other than standards, such as emerging issues, that are of significance to the PCAOB in order to protect the interests of investors and further the public interest in the preparation of informative, accurate and independent audit reports.

Knechel notes there are many critical issues facing the auditing profession as the world is emerging from two difficult years due to the pandemic, but he is looking forward to addressing those issues as part of the advisory group.

“Many critical issues such as the role of technology, the audit of global organizations and the trend towards non-financial sustainability information need serious and urgent attention from the auditing profession, and many look to the PCAOB to provide the needed leadership on these and other issues,” he said. “At the same time, the make-up of the SEIAG is very diverse, and I anticipate there will be many enlightening discussions of these key issues from a number of different perspectives.”

The PCAOB is a nonprofit corporation established by Congress to oversee the audits of public companies, in addition to overseeing the audits of brokers and dealers. Beyond its focus on advising on standards, the PCAOB also is tasked with registering public accounting firms that prepare audit reports, inspecting registered firms’ audits and investigating and disciplining registered public accounting firms for violations.

Knechel has been a faculty member at the University of Florida Fisher School of Accounting since 1981. He is also a Research Professor of Auditing and Accounting at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and a Research Professor of Auditing at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

He is the recipient of two honorary doctorate degrees, the first from BI Norwegian School of Business and the second from Nyenrode Business Universiteit in the Netherlands. In 2020, Knechel was named a UF Research Foundation (UFRF) Professor for the second time, a recognition given to faculty with a distinguished current record of research and a strong research agenda that is likely to lead to continuing distinction in their fields.

His primary areas of research include issues related to assurance, control, performance measurement and auditing. His research has been published in several top accounting and auditing journals including the Journal of Accounting Research, The Accounting Review, The International Journal of Auditing and Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory. On June 1, 2020, he began a three-year term as Senior Editor of The Accounting Review.

Knechel received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Delaware.