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CAQ files amicus brief with Supreme Court of the United States in case of Omnicare, Inc., et al., v. The Laborers Council Construction Industry Pension Fund and the Cement Masons Local 526 Combined Funds

Thursday, June 12, 2014

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The Center for Audit Quality (“CAQ”) is a public policy organization of approximately 750 U.S. public company accounting firms, representing tens of thousands of professionals dedicated to audit quality. Any U.S. accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) may join the CAQ. The organization strives to increase investor confidence and public trust in the global capital markets by improving the reliability of public company audits and enhancing their relevance for investors. As a part of that effort, the CAQ regularly submits amicus briefs in cases concerning legal rules that affect auditors and the audit process, and their broader impact on investors and the capital markets. This is such a case. The CAQ’s member firms audit the financial statements of virtually every public company in the United States, and are often drawn into litigation related to those audits. Claims brought under section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933, 15 U.S.C. § 77k, are no exception. Although this case involves the statement of an issuer, not an auditor, the statute expressly lists “accountants” among the parties subject to liability, id. § 77k(a)(4), and auditors are frequently named as defendants in section 11 cases. Auditors’ principal task in connection with registration statements is to express an opinion, based on professional judgment, on the issuer’s financial statements. The CAQ, therefore, believes that it can provide a valuable perspective on the reach of section 11 and the potential consequences of the Court’s resolution of the question presented to the accounting profession.