PracticeAuditAhold scandal threatens exemption from US rules

Ahold scandal threatens exemption from US rules

European lobbyists trying to get an exemption to US accountancy rules for non-US firms have been dealt a blow following the discovery of a $500m (£317m) black hole at Dutch super grocer Ahold.

Link: Ahold auditors stand by work

US regulators have said that the scandal strengthens its argument that non-US accountancy firms should register with the new accounting oversight board.

European Commission officials disagree, saying they do not want auditors to be under ‘two sets of rules’, the Financial Times reported. Frits Bolkestein, European financial services commissioner, is this week lobbying the Security and Exchange Commission.

ICAEW president Peter Wyman admitted that the Ahold debacle was ‘not helpful’ to the European campaign.

The Ahold debacle will also be bad news for the government – Melanie Johnson, the competition minister, is due to meet with the SEC to discuss the possibility of exemptions for UK audit firms to regulation by the oversight board.

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