PCAOB Enters Into Cooperative Agreement with Belgian Audit Regulator

Washington, Apr. 20, 2021

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) today announced it has reached a cooperative agreement with the Belgian Audit Oversight College ("CTR-CSR"). The agreement allows for cooperation between the two organizations in the oversight of audit firms subject to the jurisdiction of both regulators.

“We are pleased to have entered into a cooperative agreement with the CTR-CSR,” said PCAOB Chairman William D. Duhnke III. “The agreement enables each regulator, consistent with our respective missions and statutory mandates, to conduct inspections and investigations, to select the audit work and potential violations to be examined, and to access firm personnel, audit work papers, and other information needed to complete our oversight activities. We look forward to working jointly with the CTR-CSR for the benefit of investors in our capital markets.”

In addition to providing a framework for joint inspections, the PCAOB’s agreement with the CTR-CSR allows for the exchange of confidential information in accordance with applicable Belgian law and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the United States. The two organizations also entered into an agreement addressing transfers of personal data to the PCAOB.

With this agreement completed, the PCAOB now is able to inspect and investigate all PCAOB-registered accounting firms that are located in a European country and that issue audit reports for public companies listed in the U.S. capital markets. “The cooperative agreements we have in place with our European counterparts reflect the depth of transatlantic cooperation we have enjoyed over the years and highlight our mutual commitment to independent audit oversight, investor protection, and transparency in the capital markets,” added Chairman Duhnke.

Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the PCAOB oversees and inspects accounting firms that audit U.S. public companies and brokers and dealers. Approximately 850 firms currently registered with the PCAOB are located outside the U.S. in 92 jurisdictions. The PCAOB works collaboratively with audit regulators in foreign jurisdictions and benefits from cooperation with its international counterparts.

The finalization of this agreement demonstrates the PCAOB’s continuing commitment to working cooperatively with other oversight bodies. The PCAOB has sought and obtained full cross-border cooperation, based on norms of international comity, with oversight authorities in all of the countries where its mandate requires it to conduct inspections or investigations, with the exception of China.

Learn more about the PCAOB’s international work and its continuing China-related access challenges on the PCAOB website.

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About the PCAOB

The PCAOB is a nonprofit corporation established by Congress to oversee the audits of public companies in order to protect investors and further the public interest in the preparation of informative, accurate, and independent audit reports. The PCAOB also oversees the audits of brokers and dealers, including compliance reports filed pursuant to federal securities laws.

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