Business / Markets

Sino-US accountancy is at crucial level with SEC probe

By GAO CHANGXIN in Shanghai (China Daily) Updated: 2014-02-13 00:41

Analysts have urged China and the US to set up a framework to address cross-border accounting issues.

It is a subject that has become increasingly significant on the bilateral diplomatic agenda after US regulators said they were set to punish the Chinese affiliates of the four largest accounting firms for blocking investigations of possible fraudulent accounting.

James Lee, regional director of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales for China, wrote in an article on Tuesday that it is in the long-term interests of both the US and China to do so, "especially as China is expected to provide increasing capital funding for companies from the US and elsewhere once it develops its international financial center in Shanghai".

The four largest accounting firms — Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu CPA Ltd, Ernst & Young Hua Ming LLP, KPMG Huazhen and PricewaterhouseCoopers Zhong Tian CPAs Ltd — have until Wednesday to attempt to reverse a US Securities and Exchange Commission administrative judge's decision to bar them for six months from auditing Chinese companies listed in the US.

PR officers with the firms said on Monday they could not confirm the date or the progress of the appeal, as there have been no updates on this matter.

Analysts believe the move underscores the desire of US regulators to access the audit papers relating to Chinese companies listed on the US stock exchanges following a slew of alleged frauds in 2011 that sank companies' share prices.

The US commission is in the middle of a review process to decide whether it will uphold the judge's Jan 22 rule, which is neither final nor legally binding yet. The Chinese accounting firms have said they will appeal, a move that must be formally made by Feb 12.

Sino-US accountancy is at crucial level with SEC probe

Sino-US accountancy is at crucial level with SEC probe

Big shake-up for 'Big Four'

Law keeps auditors from releasing data

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