Washington (June 11, 2004) - The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board is expecting more than 400 foreign accounting firms to register to provide audit services to U.S. companies, and has agreed to continue processing applications beyond the July 19 deadline to encourage even more non-U.S. firms to step forward.

Under the federal Sarbanes-Oxley Act, accounting firms must register with the PCAOB in order to audit the financial statements of corporations registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

As of June 9, officials at the board reported that a total of 912 accounting firms had submitted applications for registration - most of them domestic firms.

But the number of foreign accounting firms registering with the PCAOB is on the upswing as growing numbers of non-U.S. accountants continue to flood the board with registration applications.

With less than six weeks to go before the registration deadline, a total of 103 firms from 43 different foreign countries had applied to the board, and PCAOB staffers reported that another 240 applications from non-U.S. firms were still being processed.

Officials at the board expect to receive at least another 60 applications from foreign accounting firms, and the PCAOB will continue to process applications from those who miss the “practical deadline” for registration.
To facilitate registrations, PCAOB has set up a help line at its Washington office (202-207-9329) as well as a 24-hour email assistance site (Registration-Help@PCAOBUS.com).

Separately, the Board announced Thursday that it has scheduled the first meeting of its 30-member Standing Advisory Group for June 21 and 22 to review existing auditing standards and to discuss potential future standards.
   
The meeting runs from  8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. both days in the Atrium Hall of the Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington.


- Ken Rankin

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