SEC UPS FRAUD ENFORCEMENT

New York -- According to a new report by the law firm Morrison & Foerster, the Securities and Exchange Commission has increased its enforcement efforts against lapses in accounting and financial reporting, while cracking down on financial fraud. The report noted that under the leadership of the SEC chair, Mary Jo White, and Division of Enforcement co-directors George Canellos and Andrew Ceresney, the SEC recast its enforcement program in 2013. According to White, the changes are designed to highlight the SEC's "robust" enforcement program that is "aggressive and creative," and that "continue[s] to focus on financial statement and accounting fraud."

The alleged misuse of corporate assets topped the list of accounting and financial reporting cases last year, followed by cases alleging overstated assets and those involving misstated business prospects. Areas that drew the least number of actions last year were those stemming from revenue recognition issues and understatement of assets.

 

PCAOB CLOSES IN ON DEAL TO INSPECT CHINESE AUDIT FIRMS

Washington, D.C. -- The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board anticipates signing a deal by the end of the year to inspect auditing firms located in China, a long-sought goal. During an open meeting in early February with Securities and Exchange Commission officials to approve the PCAOB's $258.4 million budget request for 2014, PCAOB Chairman James Doty provided an update to SEC Chair Mary Jo White and the other commissioners on the board's activities and plans, including overseas inspections. "Gaining access to audits of Chinese registered firms has been particularly challenging," said Doty. "But I am grateful to the Secretaries of the Treasury and State for their inviting me, with your support, to participate in the Strategic & Economic Dialogue in each of the last three years." In terms of enforcement, Doty reported that last year, the PCAOB concluded 17 disciplinary proceedings, including one against a Big Four firm, and also issued a policy on credit for extraordinary cooperation. The SEC ultimately approved the PCAOB's budget request for $258.4 million, which represents a $12.8 million increase -- roughly 5 percent -- over the approved 2013 budget of $245.6 million.

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