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August 31, 2010

EC approves audit working paper exchange

The European Commission (EC) has given the go ahead for EU member states to exchange working papers and co-operate with Australian and the US audit oversight authorities.

The decision follows the enactment of the US Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in July, which allows the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board to share information with foreign audit oversight authorities.

US laws had previously prevented the US audit regulator from sharing working papers with foreign counterparts and the EC was unwilling to co-operate unless co-operation was reciprocated.

In February 2010, the EC adopted a similar decision for the auditor oversight authorities of Canada, Japan and Switzerland.

The EC said the decision will contribute to reinforcing international co-operation on audit oversight which will ultimately lead to increased investor protection.

Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier said it will also help move the profession towards the “ultimate” objective of equivalent rules and mutual reliance on audit oversight systems.


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