PracticeAuditSEC chairman backs UK line on audit reform

SEC chairman backs UK line on audit reform

The most senior financial regulator from the US has backed moves to reform the UK’s audit market

At a joint press conference last week SEC chairman Christopher Cox pointedly
praised proposals from the Financial Reporting Council aimed at creating more
competition and choice in the UK.

‘The SEC is very impressed with the market participants group interim report,
particularly its focus on contingency planning in the event of a large firm
leaving the market,’ Cox said, while sharing a platform with the FRC’s Paul
Boyle.

The comments are likely to lead to speculation that Cox is hinting that the
SEC could be interested in its own review of audit competition. He also cooled
speculation that the US companies would soon be able to adopt IFRS instead of US
GAAP.

The SEC had announced that by 2009 it would scrap the requirement for foreign
companies to restate IFRS accounts in US GAAP, but Cox said abandoning US GAAP
entirely was not on the cards.

‘It is important for UK companies to consider IFRS, but it is not a choice
they have at the moment. We need to strengthen the capacity of the profession in
IFRS in the US,’ Cox said.

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