PCAOB Sanctions Total Asia Associates PLT for Violations of Quality Control Standards
PCAOB fines the firm $80,000 and revokes its PCAOB registration
The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) today announced a settled disciplinary order sanctioning Malaysia-based Total Asia Associates PLT (“the firm”) for violations of PCAOB rules and quality control standards.
Specifically, the PCAOB found that Total Asia Associates PLT violated PCAOB rules and quality control standards because:
- The firm’s quality control policies and procedures failed to provide reasonable assurance that the work performed by engagement team members met professional standards.
- The firm’s quality control policies and procedures failed to provide reasonable assurance that its personnel participated in relevant training.
- The firm was aware of significant audit deficiencies in its engagement quality reviews, yet failed to improve its related quality control policies and procedures.
“Rigorous quality control policies and procedures are essential to ensure high audit quality and to protect investors,” said Robert E. Rice, Director of the PCAOB’s Division of Enforcement and Investigations. “As this order demonstrates, this firm failed to meet that standard and has been held accountable for that failure.”
Without admitting or denying the findings, the firm settled with the PCAOB and consented to a disciplinary order. The order censures Total Asia Associates PLT and revokes its registration, with the right to reapply for registration after two years. It also imposes an $80,000 civil money penalty on the firm. Before it can reapply for registration, Total Asia Associates PLT is required to undertake certain remedial measures to establish quality control policies and procedures to give the firm reasonable assurance that its PCAOB audits would be conducted in accordance with applicable professional rules and standards.
PCAOB enforcement staff members Sarah C. Wang and Tony Mealey conducted the investigation. Kyra C. Armstrong and Raymond J. Hamm supervised this matter.
The PCAOB oversees auditors’ compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, provisions of the securities laws relating to auditing, professional standards, and PCAOB and SEC rules. Strengthening enforcement is one of the PCAOB’s most important strategic goals.
Firms or individuals wishing to report suspected misconduct by auditors, or to self-report possible misconduct, may visit the PCAOB Tips and Referrals page.
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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