PCAOB Enters Into Cooperative Agreement with Italian Audit Regulator

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board today announced that it has entered into a cooperative agreement with the Italian audit oversight regulator Commissione Nazionale per le SocietĂ  e la Borsa (CONSOB).

The agreement allows for cooperation between the PCAOB and CONSOB, including joint inspections, in the oversight of audit firms subject to the regulatory jurisdiction of both regulators.

"We are pleased to begin working with the Italian audit regulator and look forward to an effective partnership," said PCAOB Chairman James R. Doty. "Cross-border collaboration between the PCAOB and European audit regulators is essential to global investor protection."

The PCAOB has inspection agreements in place in most European countries with registered firms the PCAOB is required to inspect. Negotiations are still underway with several other European regulators.

The cooperative agreement with Italy provides a framework for joint inspections and allows for the exchange of confidential information in accordance with applicable Italian law and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the United States. An agreement on data protection also is included.

These agreements are consistent with PCAOB agreements with 13 other European audit regulators.

"Italy's CONSOB is an important and influential audit regulator in Europe," said Bruce Wilson, PCAOB Director of International Affairs. "We hope that this agreement will provide impetus to our ongoing efforts to finalize the few remaining cooperative agreements still under negotiation in Europe."

Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the PCAOB is required to oversee and inspect all accounting firms that regularly audit public companies whose securities trade in U.S. markets. Approximately 900 audit firms currently registered with the PCAOB are located outside the United States in 89 jurisdictions. Currently, 14 registered firms are located in Italy.