Investigations are conducted by:
- The SEC, of auditors and others for possible violations of the federal securities laws.
- The PCAOB, of auditors for possible violations of any provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, any professional standards, any rules of the PCAOB or the SEC, or any provisions of the U.S. securities laws relating to the preparation and issuance of audit reports.
When violations are detected, enforcement actions are taken as appropriate.
Section 105 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 gives the PCAOB broad investigative and disciplinary authority over registered firms and their associated persons.
The SEC's enforcement staff conducts investigations into possible violations of the federal securities laws and prosecutes the SEC's civil suits in the federal courts and in administrative proceedings.