PCAOB reaches agreement with French, Finnish audit regulators

BY KEN TYSIAC
February 4, 2013

The PCAOB has reached agreements with audit regulators in France and Finland that provide a framework for joint inspections of audit firms subject to the regulatory jurisdictions of the PCAOB and regulators in those countries.

The agreements with the French High Council for Statutory Auditors (H3C) and the Auditing Board of the Central Chamber of Commerce of Finland, which were announced Monday, also allow for the exchange of confidential information in accordance with applicable laws in the respective jurisdictions. The agreements take effect immediately.

Provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, P.L. 111-203, amended previous U.S. law to allow the PCAOB to share confidential information with its non-U.S. counterparts in certain situations. Agreements on data protection are part of both cooperative arrangements.

Twenty-five of the more than 900 audit firms registered with the PCAOB are in France, and five are in Finland. The PCAOB has reached similar agreements with four other European Union member states—the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain. The PCAOB also has agreements with Switzerland, Norway, and several non-European regulators.

“France, which is home to a number of companies that have a significant impact on U.S. and global markets, is an important partner in Europe,” PCAOB Chairman James Doty said in a news release. “This agreement with the H3C is yet another step forward in our continuous effort to strengthen investor protection across borders.”

Doty said the PCAOB and Finnish regulators “can be significantly more effective together.”

Ken Tysiac ( ktysiac@aicpa.org ) is a JofA senior editor.

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