His comments come in response to efforts by the European Union to get all accountancy firms treated equally by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, which has new powers to inspect firms that audit US-listed companies, or major subsidiaries of them.
In an interview with the Financial Times, McDonough said some European countries, such as the UK, had better established independent oversight of accountants.
He said his goal at present was to have common methodology that would still allow for different amounts of oversight by working out applicable levels of cooperation for each country.
McDonough is due to meet with EU officials in Washington next week to discuss the issue.
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