The five-member oversight board, assembled by the US Securities & Exchange Commission to maintain integrity in the profession, is supposed to begin operations next month.
It was due to be funded in its first year by unused SEC funds, but according to reports in the FT, the SEC is unlikely to have any funds to spare.
The watchdog has already been the subject of political wrangling over the appointment of its chairman.
John Biggs, a pension fund executive, was Harvey Pitt’s choice for the post, but the SEC chairman was heavily criticized by the accounting industry and some Republicans who said Biggs was too hardline.
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Dr Richard Willis provides a several thousand-year history lesson of the profession, from origin to modern-day