News & Analysis as of

This Week In Securities Litigation

The Commission brought two FCPA cases this week, one of which was in conjunction with the DOJ. Both centered on the payments for gifts and travel in China. In addition, the SEC filed three manipulation cases, an action...more

SEC and PCAOB Combine Their Focusses on Broker-Dealer Audits and Independence in Settlements with Fifteen Audit Firms

On December 8, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) announced settlements with fifteen audit firms for violating independence rules applicable to auditors of...more

SEC Accounting Staff Speeches at Annual AICPA Conference

On December 8 and 9, staff members of the SEC’s Office of the Chief Accountant, including the SEC chief accountant in his first published speech since he arrived at the SEC, discussed various accounting and financial...more

SEC Sanctions 8 Auditors in “Broken Gate” Enforcement Sweep

The SEC this week issued cease-and-desist orders against eight auditors, fining them $140,000 collectively, for violating auditor independence rules by preparing the very broker-dealer financials they were to audit....more

Legal Alert: SEC and PCAOB Address Independence Requirements in Audits Related to Broker-Dealers’ Financial Statements

Confirming that auditor independence continues to be a regulatory priority, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) issued orders on December 8,...more

Heightened Supervision of Branch Offices — Tips for the Coming Year

In recent years, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) have heightened their expectations of what constitutes a “comprehensive” branch self-inspection program. Firms...more

SEC Issues Guidance to BDCs Regarding Consolidated Financials

On October 31, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission, through the Chief Accountant's Office of its Investment Management Division, issued a Guidance Update regarding whether wholly owned subsidiaries should be...more

What’s Next for COSO’s New Framework?

By now, most companies have begun to transition from The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) 1992 Internal Control—Integrated Framework to the updated COSO 2013 framework. In fact, many...more

SEC Sanctions Auditor, Should Make Small Issuers Think Twice

The SEC brought a settled administrative action against an auditor on October 24th. Often I’ll take a case like this and write something about it to warn other auditors (or investment advisers or broker-dealers, or whomever)...more

Governance Responses to the PCAOB’s New Related Party Rule

Last week the SEC approved new PCAOB rules regarding: - Company relationships and transactions with related parties, - “Significant unusual transactions”, and - Company relationships and transactions with its...more

Providing Audited Financial Statements Late Leads to Charges of Custody Rule Violations

The SEC announced charges against an investment advisory firm and three of its top officials for violating the “custody rule” that requires firms to follow certain procedures when they control or have access to client money...more

SEC Approves PCAOB’s Auditing Standard No. 18, Related Parties

On October 21, 2014, the SEC approved Auditing Standard No. 18, Related Parties of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), as well as amendments to certain PCAOB auditing standards regarding significant unusual...more

The SEC's MCDC Initiative: Where To Go From Here

Issuers, underwriters and advisors in the municipal bond marketplace are facing unprecedented challenges from federal regulators in connection with both the issuance of bonds and ongoing post-issuance compliance. These...more

Governance & Securities Law Focus: Latin America Edition - October 2014

In this issue: - US DEVELOPMENTS - SEC Developments - Noteworthy US Securities Law Litigation - Recent SEC/DOJ Enforcement Matters - EU DEVELOPMENTS - European Commission...more

The Origins of the FCPA: Lessons For Effective Compliance and Enforcement - Part Five

The Congressional debates - The revelations from the Watergate hearings and the Commission’s investigations and enforcement actions sparked two years of Congressional hearings. Those revelations also spawned a...more

PCAOB Urges Audit Committee Scrutiny of Revenue Recognition

The PCAOB recently issued Staff Audit Practice Alert No. 12, which outlines significant audit deficiencies relating to revenue that PCAOB inspections have identified. ...more

Whether 1992 Or 2013 Version Of COSO Framework — Disclose In Management’s And Auditor’s Internal Control Reports

Last week, I posted a piece regarding the “squishy” deadline (to borrow the term of art coined by the COSO Chair) for implementation of the new 2013 COSO internal control framework. As you may recall, the original 1992 COSO...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The Commission prevailed on summary judgment in an action against a broker which alleged he misappropriated client funds. The agency also filed actions centered on: an audit failure; the EB-5 immigration program; undisclosed...more

SEC Awards $300,000 to an Audit & Compliance Professional for Whistleblowing: Key Implications & Lessons Learned

Last week, the SEC announced its first whistleblower award to an audit and compliance professional. The $300,000 award announcement noted that the recipient had “reported concerns to appropriate personnel within the company,...more

SEC Gives $300,000 Whistleblower Award to Audit and Compliance Employee

Last week the SEC announced that, for the first time, it had made a whistleblower award to an employee who performs audit and compliance functions at a company. As the SEC noted in its order in the case, although its...more

The Financial Report - Volume 3, No. 16 • August 21, 2014 (Global)

Discussion and Analysis - Recently, we’ve been thinking a lot about crowds. Most sources define the term “crowds” as a large group of people gathered closely together or with something in common. The Merriam-Webster...more

SEC Charges Corporate Officers with Fraud Arising from Failure to Disclose Internal Controls Issues and Alleged Misrepresentations...

On July 30, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) advanced a novel theory of fraud against the former CEO (Marc Sherman) and CFO (Edward Cummings) of Quality Services Group, Inc. (“QSGI”), a Florida-based...more

SEC Gives Itself the Home Court Advantage in an Accounting Fraud / Internal Controls Action Against a Corporate CEO

An otherwise mundane SEC announcement on July 30, 2014 of an enforcement action charging a public company CEO and CFO with accounting fraud and internal controls violations is significant because the SEC is proceeding against...more

The Financial Report - Volume 3, No. 14 • July 24, 2014 (Global)

Discussion and Analysis - Monday of this week was the fourth anniversary of the signing of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Like all anniversaries, it is a time for looking back. As would...more

EY Sanctioned For Acting As An Advocate For Audit Clients

Auditor independence is critical. The opinion issued by the audit firm regarding the financial statements of an audit client represents in part that the firm is independent. That judgment is based on an assessment of all the...more

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