PracticeAccounting FirmsBig Four oppose US board

Big Four oppose US board

Big Four firms are fighting against the US Accountancy Oversight Board, as it pushes ahead with plans to force non-US auditors to fall under its remit.

Link: Ban called for tax work by auditors

In its quest to try and stop such financial scandals as Enron and WorldCom happening again, the board’s proposals require the registration of all accounting firms that undertake audit work for companies with a US listing, including non-US firms.

This has not gone down well with the Big Four who see the issue as complex, costly and with significant legal hurdles. Roger Davis, UK head of professional affairs at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said while the firm supports the objectives of the board, ‘their application to overseas firms gives rise to complicated practical issues, such as with client confidentiality obligations and data privacy laws’.

These legal concerns were put to the board at a joint public roundtable meeting with the SEC at the end of last month. According to Neil Lerner, UK head of risk management at KPMG, the SEC and the board were ‘clearly listening’ to what the non-US firms had to say. ‘The message came over clearly that there would be significant legal difficulties if the proposals were applied unchanged,’ said Lerner.

While there are hopes that the board will soften its stance, most do not expect plans for registration of non-US firms to be dropped. Instead both PwC and KPMG have asked for a one-year extension before non-US firms have to register to resolve any legal and practical difficulties.

Related Articles

EY director joins Crowe Clark Whitehill as partner

Accounting Firms EY director joins Crowe Clark Whitehill as partner

12h Emma Smith, Managing Editor
RSM announces growth across every business line in 2017

Accounting Firms RSM announces growth across every business line in 2017

3d Lucy Skoulding, Reporter
WorkStyle: Helping accountants to support new contractors

Accounting Firms WorkStyle: Helping accountants to support new contractors

1w ClearSky Accounting | Sponsored
Grant Thornton grows profits while radically reshaping portfolio

Accounting Firms Grant Thornton grows profits while radically reshaping portfolio

1w Alia Shoaib, Reporter
How to protect LLP firms from a damaging team move

Accounting Firms How to protect LLP firms from a damaging team move

1w Clive Greenwood, Lewis Silkin
Grant Thornton reports gender pay gap at 26.6%

Accounting Firms Grant Thornton reports gender pay gap at 26.6%

3w Alia Shoaib, Reporter
5 ways to adapt your accounting services for millennial clients

Accounting Firms 5 ways to adapt your accounting services for millennial clients

4w Receipt Bank | Sponsored
Smith & Williamson reports double digit growth

Accounting Firms Smith & Williamson reports double digit growth

4w Alia Shoaib, Reporter