News & Analysis as of

China Update February 2015: Settlement of the SEC Action Against Chinese Auditors Regarding Production of Workpapers, and EB-5...

Settlement of the SEC Action Against Chinese Auditors Regarding Production of Workpapers - Earlier this month the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) agreed to “stay” the administrative action (meaning the SEC...more

SEC May Seek Companies’ Agreements to Determine Whistleblower Treatment

The SEC continues to focus on its whistleblower initiative. According to a February 25 Wall Street Journal article titled “SEC Probes Companies’ Treatment of Whistleblowers,” the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission...more

SEC Continues to Investigate Contractual Impediments to Whistleblower Complaints

As Rachel Louise Ensign reported earlier this week in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) continues to probe obstacles to corporate employees blowing the whistle. This...more

SEC Targeting Broad Employee Confidentiality Clauses

February 27, 2015 Authors: Gregory Keating and Harry Jones The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently contacted a number of companies seeking every confidentiality agreement, nondisclosure agreement, settlement...more

US China Trade War–Developments in Trade, Trade Politics, Patents/IP, Antitrust and Securites

On January 11thth, I put up my last post stating that because of its length, I have broken up the post into two parts. This February post includes a Trade, Customs and IP update with longer sections on Antitrust and...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The Commission resolved its actions against the PRC based affiliates of five major accounting firms for failure to produce audit work papers. The settlement contains a series of procedures designed to facilitate production in...more

SEC – PRC Based Audit Firms Reach A Settlement

The SEC and the PRC based affiliates of five major accounting firms entered into a settlement of proceedings initiated over the failure to produce audit work papers for issuers with substantial operations in China. The...more

SEC Announces Settlement With “Big Four” China Accounting Firms Over Production of Documents Located in China

Today, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) announced the terms of a settlement with four of the Respondents in In the Matter of BDO China Dhaua CPA Co., Ltd. The four Respondents are the China...more

"Recent Regulatory and FASB Actions Impacting Auditors"

In one of several recent actions impacting auditors, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) have devoted heightened attention to related-party transactions,...more

PCAOB Alerts on Deficiencies in Broker-Deal Audits

The first five inspections of broker-dealer audit and new attestation engagements subject to PCAOB standards show deficiencies in the auditors’ application of these standards according to the PCAOB. The requirement to...more

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

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