PCAOB to discuss using non-U.S. inspectors

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board will host a roundtable discussion on June 25, 2008 on a proposal regarding the circumstances in which it could rely fully on non-U.S. auditor oversight bodies in the context of inspections. Representatives of investors, registered accounting firms, and foreign regulators will participate in the discussion.

On December 5, 2007, the Board issued for public comment a proposed Policy Statement: Guidance Regarding Implementation of PCAOB Rule 4012. The comment period closed on March 4, 2008. You can read the comment letters that were received on this policy statement.

The proposed policy statement articulates essential criteria that, if met, would permit the Board to place full reliance on the inspections work of qualified non-U.S. auditor oversight entities under existing PCAOB Rule 4012. The roundtable will explore the advantages and disadvantages of the proposal, as well as specific issues raised in the comment letters on the proposal.

Chairman Mark W. Olson stated that, "The Board’s inspections program has always sought to ensure that investors in U.S. public companies receive the highest level of protection no matter where the auditors are located. To that end, the Board has, consistent with SOX and the Board's Rules, worked cooperatively with other audit regulators around the world. We look forward to having an active discussion about the proposed approach for expanding the level of cooperation and to discussing the many important issues raised by commenters."

The roundtable is scheduled for 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Army-Navy Club, 901 17th Street NW, Washington, DC. The roundtable will be open to the public with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. The roundtable discussions also will be available via Webcast on the Board's Web site.

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