PracticeAccounting FirmsPitt under pressure to go

Pitt under pressure to go

The embattled head of US financial watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Commission, is coming under pressure to quit his job after being blamed for exacerbating the fragility of equity markets while trying to reform corporate governance and accounting rules.

Link: Profile: Harvey Pitt

According to reports in the press, senior democrat politicians have lobbied president George W Bush asking him to fire Harvey Pitt, chairman of the SEC.

The moves comes as Pitt struggles to appoint a chief for the new US accountancy watchdog, the Public Oversight Board. Attempts so far have met with criticism and failure.

Pitt is also deep into the process of implementing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on corporate governance which is set to transform the way companies disclose their accounts.

The Act has already compelled CEOs and finance directors from all companies with US listings, including UK businesses, to make out ‘oaths of honesty’ certificates testifying to the integrity of their annual accounts.

Pitt is also coming under increasing pressure from the UK government to modify the Act because of its cross-border implications including measures which would bring UK auditors under the jurisdictions of US courts if they work for US-based companies.

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