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UK auditors win one year reprieve

Link: EU threatens reciprocal controls on US firms

However, it is a concession that will fail to satisfy the demands of many lobbyists and is likely to drive the European Commission to reciprocate with its own set of rules on accountancy regulation for non-EU auditors.

Following news of the PCAOB’s decision, the European Commission labeled the move ‘unnecessary, burdensome and disproportionate’.

Non-US audit firms and politicians have lobbied heavily to avoid ‘extraterritorial oversight’ since the landmark corporate governance legislation was passed last year creating the new Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, now headed by William McDonough, president and chief executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The UK says its accountancy regulation is equally as stringent as that of the new five-member board, which was created to protect US investors and promote the integrity of financial accounts in the wake of myriad corporate scandals in the US since the collapse of Enron.

The PCAOB?s decision to allow for a later registration time for foreign auditors of companies with a US listing is seen as giving all firms an equal amount of preparation time. US accountants were told last August they had to register with the PCAOB by this October.

But firms say it will raise their costs considerably, could conflict with national laws and is a gratuitous extension of US powers.

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