PracticeConsultingBig Five agree to greater POB powers

Big Five agree to greater POB powers

In an effort to prevent the formation of a statutory regulator, the Big Five accountancy firms have reached agreement with the US Securities & Exchange Commission on a new charter for the Public Oversight Board.

The firms were helped by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants which hopes its review of POB powers will stop the SEC from establishing a regulator, with far reaching powers of enforcement, similar to the National Association of Securities Dealers.

The AICPA has reached agreement on a charter for the POB by enhancing its budget, staffing and ability to review the activities of accounting firms, the Financial Times reported today.

Under the charter, the POB’s budget has been capped at $5.2m (Pounds 3.6m), with adjustments for rising inflation, while the POB’s effectiveness is to be reviewed every three years.

In addition, the Big Five have begun beefing up their own self-regulation to back-up the AICPA’s efforts.

The move is aimed at resolving one of the disputes the firms are having with SEC over the POB, which the regulator claims does not have enough standing or accountability.

However, other issues remain unresolved, including a number of investigations into audit independence expected to be made public over the next few weeks.

Links

Levitt urges debate on auditor guidance

Public Oversight Board Online

< a href="http://www.sec.gov/" target="_blank">SEC Online

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