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Audit Board to Allow Non-U.S. Inspections

October 29, 2003|From Reuters

Moving to defuse a transatlantic flap over regulating accountants, the U.S. accounting oversight board said Tuesday that it would let some non-U.S. audit firms be inspected by home-nation authorities.

Based on a "sliding scale" that measures the robustness of a nation's auditor oversight program, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board said it would "permit varying degrees of reliance on a firm's home country system of inspections."

The oversight board also said it would extend to July the deadline for non-U.S. firms to register with it. The deadline had been April.

"This is a very encouraging move," said Jonathan Todd, spokesman for the European Commission. The deadline extension "allows a little bit more time to work out a mutually satisfactory arrangement."

The board is registering hundreds of audit firms, the first step in making them subject to its oversight. European and Japanese firms and regulators have said that the board was overreaching its power by requiring non-U.S. firms to register. The board, backed by Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission, has insisted that foreign firms register.

From Reuters

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