Are you in compliance?

Don't miss out! Sign up today for our weekly newsletters and stay abreast of important GRC-related information and news.

Get updates on Compliance Week offerings, including new features, databases, research, and other resources, along with announcements of upcoming Webcasts, conferences, seminars, CPE/CLE opportunities and more.

Published every Thursday, Compliance Week Europe offers a condensed summary of risk, audit, and compliance news either originating in Europe, or of special interest to European compliance professionals. This newsletter will follow developments by the European Commission, as well as those of national governments across the region, or any U.S.-based news that might have consequence across the Atlantic. Frequency: weekly; Thursday a.m.

A fresh edition of Compliance Week delivered via e-mail and online every Tuesday morning, relentlessly focused on the disclosure, reporting and compliance requirements of our 25,000+ paying subscribers.

Published every Friday, Compliance Weekend was launched at the behest of subscribers, and offers a quick Plain English review of the week's key developments. We hope you enjoy this supplement to Compliance Week's Tuesday edition.

With Deloitte Ensnared, China Localizes Audit Firms

Tammy Whitehouse | May 16, 2012

recent enforcement action against Deloitte is “more of a symptom than a cause”
behind a simultaneous policy by China's Ministry of Finance to localize its
accounting and auditing profession, says the general counsel of a U.S.-based
audit firm.

Ministry of Finance web site announces a new policy that China's audit firms
must increase their staffing of Chinese-trained and certified auditors so that
no more than 20 percent of its partners are non-Chinese-certified accountants
or auditors by 2017. That gives the firms a few years to gear up their training
and certification, says Scott Univer, general counsel of accounting firm
WeiserMazars, which has no offices in China.

must reduce their non-Chinese partnership to a concentration of no more than 40
percent in the first year, says Univer. “I don't think meeting that in the
first year is that much of a problem,” he says. “I believe most firms are below
that now.” But the firms will need to develop younger staff members and bring
more Chinese accountants into the firms in the coming years to achieve the
levels mandated by 2017, he says. “The Chinese accountancy profession is relatively
young, so they've got to grow up a Chinese cohort of auditors.”

Securities and Exchange Commission is pursuing action against Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
in China for failing to produce audit work papers to facilitate an SEC
investigation into possible accounting fraud at Longtop Financial. Deloitte has
resisted the SEC subpoena on the grounds that it would force its partners in
China to violate Chinese law around privacy, possibly landing them in prison. The
Public Company Accounting Oversight Board also has been pressing China for
access to audit firms that are located in China but registered with the PCAOB
to audit U.S. registrants. Chairman James Doty recently said he expects U.S.
inspectors to begin observing inspections performed by authorities in China.

views the issue of control over accounting firms by foreigners as a matter of national
sovereignty and national security, which is why they object to the PCAOB
inspecting those firms and why they object to the demands that audit firms
turn over their work papers with information about their audit clients,” says
Univer, who views the policy as a natural progression for a country with a growing economy and a growing accounting profession to serve it. “They think the time has come to take more control over that aspect of
their economy. It happens to be Deloitte that got caught up in this demand for
information on a China-based company. It could have been any of the firms.”

& Young said in a statement it welcomes the new policy to localize China's
audit firms. “The new measures are in line with E&Y's existing strategy to
accelerate localization of our business in China,” the firm said in a
statement. “Our business is well-positioned for this transition.” Deloitte did
not comment on the policy, but PwC and KPMG both provided written statements
from their affiliates in China applauding the policy as well.