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Mar 29, 2012
via Tax Break

PCAOB’s debate over auditor rotation moves to Congress

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An ambitious reform agenda at the main U.S. auditor watchdog — already under fire from the accounting industry — has now drawn the ire of members of Congress.

At a hearing on Wednesday, members of a House Financial Services subcommittee took aim at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, saying some of the items on its agenda, including term limits for audit firms and making its disciplinary proceedings public, would amount to regulatory overreach.

Mar 28, 2012

U.S. investors urge ‘going concern’ warning reform

March 28 (Reuters) – Regulators need to crack down on
auditors who fail to warn investors and the public before
corporations fail, investors told the main watchdog for U.S.
auditors on Wednesday.

Most big companies bailed out by the government in the
2007-2009 financial crisis had clean bills of health from their
auditors and no auditors have been disciplined over this,
investors told the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board at
a meeting in Washington.

Mar 27, 2012

US Chamber challenges auditor watchdog on rotation

March 27 (Reuters) – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the
nation’s largest lobbying group for corporations, is pressing
Congress to block term limits for corporate auditors, ratcheting
up pressure on regulators who are weighing such requirements.

In an effort to strengthen the independence of auditors that
scrutinize corporations’ financial books, the Public Company
Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is considering making
companies change, or rotate, auditors every few years.

Mar 22, 2012

Top watchdog, U.S. Chamber clash on auditor rotation

WASHINGTON, March 22 (Reuters) – In the buttoned-down world
of corporate auditing, sharp words are rarely heard, but the
industry’s chief U.S. regulator on Thursday blasted the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce in public.

At a forum on whether corporations should be required by
regulation to switch auditors every few years, Public Company
Accounting Oversight Board Chairman James Doty said the chamber
should choose its words more carefully.

Mar 21, 2012

US audit watchdog: term limit debate likely to ’13

WASHINGTON, March 21 (Reuters) – The U.S. watchdog for the
auditing industry said on Wednesday that a debate over possibly
forcing corporations to change auditors every few years would
stretch at least into 2013.

No potential rule proposal on term limits for auditors will
be ready this year, the Public Company Accounting Oversight
Board (PCAOB) said, as critics and supporters including some
ex-regulators descended on Washington this week to weigh in on
the issue.

Mar 21, 2012

Volcker backs contentious auditor rotation idea

WASHINGTON, March 21 (Reuters) – Former Federal Reserve
Chairman Paul Volcker backed a controversial proposal to impose
term-limits for audit firms on Wednesday, saying it would serve
as “a powerful incentive to maintain professional discipline.”

“It does seem to me that regular audits should not become a
sort of long-term annuity for the accounting firm paid for by
the company being audited, rather than being responsive … to
the investing public,” Volcker said at a roundtable convened in
Washington by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

Mar 13, 2012

Insight: Big 4 auditors spend more than ever on U.S. lobbying

By David Ingram and Dena Aubin

(Reuters) – The world’s largest accounting and auditing firms, known as the Big Four, have been pumping more money than ever before into U.S. lobbying and political campaigns as they confront new challenges from their regulator and Congress.

Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers last year spent a combined $9.4 million on in-house and outside lobbyists, according to a Reuters analysis of congressional disclosure reports.

Mar 8, 2012

Ernst & Young tightropes between audit, advocacy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Corporate audit giant Ernst & Young <ERNY.UL} operates a lobbying firm in Washington, D.C., that has been hired in recent years by several corporations that were at the same time E&Y audit clients, prompting two senior U.S. lawmakers to demand closer regulatory scrutiny.

Amgen Inc (AMGN.O: Quote, Profile, Research), CVS Caremark Corp (CVS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research) have ongoing lobbying contracts with Washington Council Ernst & Young, an E&Y unit, while also using the audit firm to review the corporations’ books, according to documents reviewed by Reuters.

Mar 8, 2012

Exclusive: Ernst & Young tightropes between audit, advocacy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Corporate audit giant Ernst & Young <ERNY.UL} operates a lobbying firm in Washington, D.C., that has been hired in recent years by several corporations that were at the same time E&Y audit clients, prompting two senior lawmakers to demand closer regulatory scrutiny.

Amgen Inc (AMGN.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), CVS Caremark Corp (CVS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have ongoing lobbying contracts with Washington Council Ernst & Young, an E&Y unit, while also using the audit firm to review the corporations’ books, according to documents reviewed by Reuters.

Mar 7, 2012

U.S. watchdog extends auditor rotation debate

March 7 (Reuters) – In an unusual move, a U.S. audit
industry watchdog is giving the public more time to weigh in on
a proposal to limit how many years an audit firm may work for
the same company, an idea meant to bolster the independence of
auditors from their clients.

After being inundated with hundreds of letters opposing the
idea, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board said on
Wednesday that the comment period would extend to April 22. It
had ended on Dec. 14.