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The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) got an earful of harsh criticism recently about its proposed standards for the work auditors should do before signing off on management assessments of companies’ internal controls. Most of the 186 comment letters received by the chief auditing regulator were from finance executives, and their common theme was the likely cost the standards would impose on companies. “It’s the addition of a costly independent audit attestation that people are objecting to,” says Curtis Verschoor, professor of accounting at DePaul University. “That’s where the battle lines are drawn.”

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