Not Over Until It’s Over: Price Waterhouse India Settles Satyam

We waited eight hundred and eighteen (818) days to see Price Waterhouse India held accountable for audit failure at Satyam Computer Services, the NYSE-listed Indian IT services provider. On April 5, 2011, the Securities and Exchang e Commission (SEC) and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board...

Foley & Lardner: PCAOB Issues Concept Release Seeking Input on Possible Changes to Auditors' Reports

On June 21, 2011, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) issued a concept release seeking input on possible changes to auditors' reports. These changes, if adopted, have the potential to increase both the cost of required audit services and the legal liability faced by both companies...

The Week In Securities Litigation: SEC Focuses On Insider Trading, PCAOB Settles Action, Ashland Rulings

The Commission took the unprecedented of dismissing the insider trading action against former Goldman Sach director Rajat Gupta, noting that he challenged the administrative proceeding in district court. The SEC reserved the right to file a federal court action. No such action has been filed to date...

PCAOB and SEC Meet with Chinese Regulators Regarding Audits

U.S. and Chinese regulators recently met in Beijing to discuss audit oversight cooperation. Those meetings are of particular interest in view of the questions which have been raised in recent months regarding the financial statements of Chinese issuers whose shares are traded in U.S. markets. Those...

PCAOB Considers Mandatory Audit Firm Rotation

Auditor independence is a key provision in the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002. In the wake of the Enron, Worldcom and other scandals the Act focused in part on auditor independence and audit quality, creating the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board as the industry watchdog, in addition to the SEC...

Securities Litigation This Week: Looming Scandal, SEC Actions, Criminal Cases

The SEC is about to become entangled in another scandal, according to reports in the New York Times this week. The latest involves the destruction of documents, according to press reports. The Supreme Court's ruling on what constitutes primary liability in Janus does not apply to Securities Act...

Recent Comments On European and U.S. Audit Reform

The topic of audit industry reform is hot again. OK, that's relative to where you stand on what's hot. But in the world of legal and regulatory compliance and auditors the only thing hotter would be a significant development in the New York Attorney General's case against Ernst & Young...

PCAOB’s Emerging Market Alert – A Helpful Review Of Auditor Requirements, But Not An Audit Committee Or Board Standard, Of Course

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board's recently issued twenty-two page Staff Audit Practice Alert No. 8 for audits of companies with operations in emerging markets offers a good summary of the standards that require auditors to test for and detect fraud during the performance of their...

A Potentially Costly Combination: Deloitte, Taylor Bean and the PCAOB

If you follow news affecting auditors, you may have noticed that the PCAOB made a very rare disclosure yesterday about one of the big four firms, Deloitte. The PCAOB said that Deloitte was previously sanctioned for not being skeptical enough to challenge statements made by management and that they...

Temperature Heats Up in PCAOB-China Talks

The Reverse Merger Wire reports that Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) Chair James Doty is growing a little impatient with Chinese securities regulators over the issue of inspections of Chinese accounting firms that are auditing US public companies. There was an apparently positive...

At Deloitte, More Pain Before Any Quality Gain

The PCAOB, the audit industry regulator, shamed global audit firm Deloitte recently when they exposed the private portion of the inspection report of the firm's 2006 audits. It was the first time that had happened to one the Big Four audit firms, the largest firms that audit the vast majority...

PCAOB Imposes Record Fine on E&Y in Public Proceeding

E&Y was censured and fined a record $2 million by the PCAOB in connection with repeated violations of professional standards. It was imposed in a proceeding that was filed in March 2011 as a non-public but which, for good cause shown, was made public. In the Matter of Ernst & Young LLP, PCAOB...

The Week In Securities Litigation: SEC Brings Another Insider Trading Action

SEC enforcement brought another insider trading action this week in addition to a case alleging a manipulation, one claiming violations of Regulation M, Rule 105 and one alleging a failure to supervise. The Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office secured another guilty plea in its expert network insider...

Four Years After Madoff, Audits and Auditors of Broker-Dealers Still Lousy

Last week I posted a column at Forbes: Already Behind The Eight-Ball: Auditors of Broker-Dealers Are A Disaster The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the US audit industry regulator, issued its first report on the auditors of broker-dealers this week and it was ugly. The PCAOB inspection...

The Week In Securities Litigation: SEC Settles 'Suspicious Trading' Insider Trading Action

Significant events this week included the proposal by the SEC of additional swaps rules regarding security-based swap dealers and major participants. Enforcement settled a "suspicious trading" insider trading action with a Hong Kong based entity while initiating a case against an investment...

Privilege Under SOX in a PCAOB Inspection of an Audit Firm

The Public Company Accounting Board or PCAOB was created under the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002. Under the SEC, the board is charged with overseeing the audit of public companies that are subject to the securities laws to protect investors. As part of those protections the PCAOB is empowered to conduct...

The Week In Securities Litigation: SEC Targets Chinese Affiliates of Major Audit Firms, Market Professionals

Chinese affiliates of major audit firms and market professionals were the focus of securities enforcement litigation this week. Five PRC based affiliates of major international accounting firms were named as Respondents in an administrative proceeding the Commission directed be filed under Rule 102(e...

The Week In Securities Litigation: SEC Brings Action Against 8 Fund Directors, 2 Actions Focused On Chinese Issues

The SEC brought an action against eight fund directors, six of whom were independent and members of the audit committee, alleging that they caused material misstatements in the valuation of fund assets by failing to implement proper standards. The agency also brought two actions focused on Chinese issues...

The Week In Securities Litigation: DOJ Files Significant Market Crisis Case Against Rating Agency

The Department of Justice filed one of the most significant market crisis cases this week against a major rating agency as a defendant. The case centers on years of false statements about ratings given to RMBS and CDOs, according to the complaint, as the market crisis evolved and the market for those...

The Week In Securities Litigation: SEC, CFTC Chairmen Testify; 2 Sentenced To Long Prison Terms

SEC Chairman Elise Walter and CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler testified before a Senate Committee this week, focusing on the implementation of Dodd-Frank. The SEC also approved the budget for the PCAOB. Two former senior executive in the organization of jailed Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford were sentenced...

The Week In Securities Litigation: Record Payments, Potentially Significant MOU

Record payments and a potentially significant MOU were the focus in securities enforcement litigation this week. French oil and gas giant Total paid the DOJ and the SEC $398 million to settle FCPA charges, the fourth largest sum paid in settlement of corruption charges. NASDAQ paid $10 million, the largest...

Quality Control Under Generally Accepted Auditing Standards

by Donald Ressiguie * The auditing and attestation standards under GAAS and PCAOB standards govern the conduct of specific audits and the methods and manner of their performance. In addition, standards of quality control apply to both specific engagements and the overall auditing practice both for...

Broker-Dealer Audits Still Badly Broken

On August 19, 2013, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the audit industry regulator, released its second report on its interim inspection program for auditors of brokers-dealers registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The PCAOB’s second “progress” report...

Call of Duty: Who Has The Last Word On “Network” Audits of US-Listed Companies?

On December 4 the PCAOB re-proposed a rule to require public companies to disclose the engagement partner’s name for the most recent period’s audit and the names, locations, and extent of participation of other public accounting firms that supported the completion of the audit. There are...

Looking at the Costs and Benefits of SOX

The Sarbanes Oxley Act was enacted nearly twelve years ago in the midst of profusion of corporate scandals. Despite the passage of time, the Act has remained controversial. In order to evaluate the Act’s impact, Harvard Law Professor John C. Coates and Harvard Business School Professor Suraj Srinivasan...