Auditors

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PCAOB Evaluates Audit Firm Communications with Audit Committees

On April 5, the PCAOB issued a report regarding compliance with Auditing Standard No. 16, Communications with Audit Committees (AS No. 16), based on its inspections of issuer audits during its 2014 inspection cycle. AS No. 16...more

The Boomerang Effect and Tax Exempt Organizations

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (“PATH”) Act of 2015, contained a provision by which tax-exempt organizations (a “TO”) could challenge revocation of exempt status by virtue of the filing of a declaratory judgment in...more

Securities Litigation and Enforcement Newsletter

SEC Enforcement Trends for 2016 - Welcome to the latest edition of Fenwick and West’s Securities Litigation and Enforcement Newsletter. In this newsletter, we look at SEC enforcement trends for 2016, starting with a...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The SEC filed its first action against a municipal adviser for breach of fiduciary duty based on a provision amended by Dodd-Frank. The agency also continued to file insider trading actions in an administrative forum....more

Auditing Standard 18 Ramifications for Management’s Related Party Representations

Companies’ management should consider whether to add a materiality carve-out to the related party representations now being included in management representation letters as a result of the PCAOB’s Auditing Standard No. 18 (AS...more

Ninth Circuit Finds No Reliance On Auditor’s Qualified Opinions

In 2009, the Securities and Exchange Commission sued Danny Pang and his two companies for allegedly defrauding investors of hundreds of millions of dollars by misrepresenting investments in the life insurance policies of...more

SEC Enforcement Chief Highlights Focus on Reporting and Disclosure, Gatekeepers

Speaking at the Directors Forum in San Diego recently, SEC Enforcement Director Andrew Ceresney reviewed the SEC’s historical and current enforcement activity in the area of issuer reporting and disclosure, as well as the...more

UK Financial Regulatory Developments - February 2016 #4

ESRB approves expansion of macroprudential policy framework - ESRB has published two recommendations relating to expanding the European macroprudential policy framework. The first concerns the counter-cyclical buffer...more

The SEC is focusing its enforcement and investigation efforts on preparers and auditors of financial statements, Mary Jo White...

In a recent address, SEC Chair Mary Jo White stated that the SEC had focused its reinvigorated investigation and enforcement efforts on holding preparers and auditors accountable for their work on financial statements. She...more

UK Financial Regulatory Developments - January 2016 #12

PRA has published a policy statement setting out: - feedback and links to final rules on engagement between external auditors and supervisors and giving PRA disciplinary powers over external auditors and actuaries...more

"Auditors Must Beware the Consequences of Settling SEC Enforcement Actions"

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched “Operation Broken Gate” in October 2013 to hold accountable those auditors who have intentionally or negligently violated professional auditing or accounting standards....more

PCAOB Adopts New Rules Requiring Disclosure of Participants in an Audit

On December 15, 2015, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) adopted new rules and related amendments to auditing standards (Rules) to provide investors with more information about who participates in public...more

PCAOB Adopts Rules to Require Public Disclosure of Engagement Partners and Audit Participants

Culminating a process begun in 2009, and that encompassed a concept release and three separate rule proposals, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has adopted new auditor transparency rules. The rules will require...more

SEC Obtains Admissions in Settlement With Grant Thornton

The SEC filed its third action in recent weeks in which admissions of fact were required as part of the settlement process. In this instances the firm also admitted its conduct violated the federal securities laws. In the...more

Report Shows Upward Trend in Enhanced Audit Committee Disclosures Among S&P 1500

The Center for Audit Quality and Audit Analytics recently released their 2015 Audit Committee Transparency Barometer. The report is based on a review of proxy statements filed through the end of June 2015 by companies in the...more

Blog: Will Clawbacks Have An Unintended Consequence?

A recent study, “Why Do Restatements Decrease in a Clawback Environment? An Investigation into Financial Reporting Executives’ Decision-Making during the Restatement Process,” shows that clawbacks may have unintended...more

Massachusetts Joint Committee Hears Testimony Yesterday on Bill to Ban Use of Contingent Fee Auditors

Yesterday, the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight heard testimony on Senate Bill 1710, a bill that would prohibit the use of contingent fee auditors by state agencies,...more

A Compilation of Enforcement and Non-Enforcement Actions

Non-Enforcement - SEC Decides Against Mounting an Appeal in Koch Ruling - The July 2015 ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court in Koch v. SEC will apparently not be challenged by the SEC. The Court ruled in that...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The PCAOB filed a settled action involving an auditing firm in which the consent order of settlement was based on admissions of facts. The approach is similar to the one adopted by the SEC in which the Commission requires...more

Capturing The SEC

Suppose you are selling a service with some success.  You want to increase sales, but how?  You could promote the value of your services, but some may disagree and others may be indifferent.  A more certain solution would be...more

Blog: Big Companies Voluntarily Enhance Audit Committee Disclosures

While the SEC and PCAOB ponder what to do with auditor and audit committee reports, an increasing number of large companies have begun to include more audit committee disclosures on a voluntary basis, according to an analysis...more

SEC Settles Microcap Fraud Scheme With Attorney, Two Audit Firms, Seven Auditors

Microcap fraud is a key part of the broken windows enforcement approach. One of the more significant actions brought in this regard is In the Matter of John Briner, Esq., Adm. Proc. File No. 3-16339 (Jan. 15, 2015). There the...more

Securities Litigation and Enforcement Newsletter

A CD or not a CD, That is the Question… That the Auditors Should Have Answered - A headline-grabbing SEC enforcement action last week against BDO USA and several of its national partners may lead audit firms to insist on...more

TSX Provides Guidance to Emerging Market Issuers

In recent years, emerging market issuers have faced greater scrutiny by Canadian regulators as a result of questions and concerns about issuers with significant business operations in emerging markets (emerging market...more

New SEC And PCAOB Proposals Related To Audit Committee Disclosure And Audit Quality

OVERVIEW - On July 1, 2015, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a concept release relating to its audit committee reporting requirements. This release references two Public Company Accounting Oversight...more

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