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.
Having stirred up controversy in the United States, audit practices at China-based companies now are testing the patience of Canadian regulators.
In a special report, Canada’s audit regulator has come down hard on the quality of audits of Canadian-listed companies with operations in China, while voicing frustration at problems in getting documents.
Feb 28 (Reuters) – Auditors of U.S. companies would
have to look harder at executive pay and at accounting maneuvers
used to dress up financial results under a revised standard
proposed on Tuesday by the watchdog for the audit industry.
The proposal from the Public Company Accounting Oversight
Board would require auditors to read compensation contracts and
look for any incentives that might encourage executives to
By Dena Aubin
(Reuters) – The $40 billion United Brotherhood of Carpenters pension fund, a long-time investor rights activist, is asking more than a dozen U.S. companies to start disclosing how long they have had the same outside auditor.
The push comes after the pension fund failed late last year in efforts to allow shareholders to vote on requiring companies to rotate or switch audit firms every seven years.
Companies that give shareholders a choice have fewer serious restatements that hurt stock prices, though their audit fees are also higher, the new study found.
Breathing some life into an idea auditors are trying feverishly to snuff out, retired TIAA-CREF chairman John Biggs has told auditor regulators that public companies should be required to change auditors after 10 years.
By Dena Aubin
(Reuters) – The watchdog board for corporate auditors on Wednesday said it has imposed a $2 million penalty, its largest fine ever, on accounting and consulting firm Ernst & Young LLP in a settlement involving past audits of Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp.
The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board said it also sanctioned four current and former Ernst & Young partners for violating PCAOB rules in the audits of Medicis, which sells prescription drugs for asthma and skin conditions.
Feb 3 (Reuters) – In an unusually public split within
the market-regulating U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission,
one of its commissioners on Friday openly opposed the
appointment of a new member to a separate panel that polices the
corporate audit industry.
Saying the appointee lacks a record of investor advocacy,
Commissioner Luis Aguilar charged the SEC with failing to meet
its legal obligation in appointing, earlier on Friday, Jeanette
Franzel to the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.
That’s the word from a U.S. Treasury Department official on soon-to-be released regulations affecting thousands of banks and brokers worldwide subject to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), signed into law in 2010.
By Dena Aubin
(Reuters) – Global audit and consulting firm Ernst & Young ERNY.UL has named Mark Weinberger, a longtime Washington insider, as its next chairman and chief executive, a signal that connections in the U.S. capital may be growing in importance to a profession facing greater scrutiny.
A former lobbyist and assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury under President George W. Bush, Weinberger will succeed Jim Turley, who announced previously that he would retire on June 30, 2013, Ernst & Young said in a statement on Tuesday.