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

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

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

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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