The PCAOB on Wednesday said it entered into a cooperative agreement with the Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) of Norway for the oversight of audit work performed by public accounting firms that practice in the two regulators’ respective jurisdictions.
The PCAOB had been blocked from inspections in Norway since 2008, the last year it conducted a joint inspection with the FSA.
“With this agreement, Norway’s FSA and the PCAOB are joining forces to improve audit quality and protect investors,” said PCAOB Chairman James Doty in a news release. “I am pleased that the PCAOB is continuing to make progress in overcoming the obstacles that have in the past prevented PCAOB inspections in Europe.”
The agreement provides a basis for the resumption of joint inspections of PCAOB-registered accounting firms that are located in Norway and that audit, or participate in audits of, companies whose securities trade in U.S. markets. The agreement also includes provisions governing the exchange of confidential information between the oversight authorities, consistent with the provisions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Dodd-Frank amended the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) to permit the PCAOB to share confidential information with its non-U.S. counterparts under certain circumstances.
SOX directed the PCAOB to oversee and periodically inspect all accounting firms that regularly audit companies whose securities trade in U.S. markets. More than 900 audit firms registered with the PCAOB are outside the United States, spanning 84 countries. Five registered firms are in Norway.
More from the JofA: