“Like people all across the business world, boards and audit committees are dealing with the changes brought on by digital technologies,” says Eric Spangenberg, dean of the UCI Paul Merage School of Business.

Digital Transformation in Auditing to be Discussed at 2018 UCI Audit Committee Summit

Irvine, CA - (October 02, 2018) - For the fifth year, the University of California, Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business is bringing back the only summit dedicated to education for boards and audit committees.

At the 2018 UCI Audit Committee Summit on Oct. 17, CEOs, CFOs, other leaders of public companies and audit committee members will gain insights into potential U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) financial regulations and other initiatives.

The half-day summit at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach, California will begin with a keynote dialogue between top leaders at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) and the SEC. The keynote will be followed by two panel discussions, including one on what audit committee and board members need to know to navigate the digital transformations affecting the finance and audit spaces.

“Like people all across the business world, boards and audit committees are dealing with the changes brought on by digital technologies,” says Dean Eric Spangenberg. “At the Merage School, we’re focused on preparing leaders to succeed in the digital era. We’re proud to host this unique summit in support of that mission.”

The keynote dialogue will include remarks from Duane DesParte, one of five new members of the PCAOB. Board members serve staggered five-year terms, but all five board members were sworn in this year. The summit will mark one of the few times since a full board was sworn in that a seated member has had a chance to publicly share thoughts about the new board’s vision.

The keynote dialogue will also feature Mark Panucci, deputy chief accountant for the SEC, who leads the Office of the Chief Accountant’s Professional Practice Group and has extensive background with SEC registrants, corporate reporting and compliance.

The first of the two panel discussions will address current and future SEC and PCAOB initiatives and priorities, while the second will provide valuable insights into what audit committees must do to stay ahead of the digital transformation curve in the finance and audit worlds.

“Big data and enhanced technological abilities are facilitating major changes to how companies process financial data. Increasingly, audit firms are applying their own technologies to these big data sets and adopting a more analytics-driven process,” says Patricia Wellmeyer, a clinical assistant professor of accounting and the academic director of Merage School’s Master of Professional Accountancy program. “While these digital approaches promise a more effective and efficient audit, they also bring a host of issues related to data privacy and auditor independence that need to be discussed and resolved.”

Companies and their auditors are grappling with digital transformation,” continues Wellmeyer, who is moderating the keynote dialogue. “Implementation of new technologies such as cloud computing and blockchains disrupt companies’ existing control systems. How do audit committee members and auditors deal with these changes and properly assess a company’s vulnerabilities and need for controls? It’s an enormous learning curve.”

Four hours of CPE credit will be offered to summit attendees. Learn more and register online at https://merage.uci.edu/events/2018/10/Summit2018.html.

About The Paul Merage School of Business

The Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine offers four dynamic MBA programs – plus PhD, specialty masters and undergraduate business degrees – that prepare business leaders for our digitally driven world. Through our programs, students acquire the exceptional ability to grow their organizations through strategic innovation, analytical decision-making, digital information technology and collaborative execution. While the Merage School is relatively young, it has quickly grown to rank consistently among the top five percent of all business programs worldwide through exceptional student recruitment, world-class faculty, a strong alumni network and close relationships with both individual business executives and global corporations. Additional information is available at merage.uci.edu.