EUROPE STREAMLINES PROCESS FOR OUTSIDE AUDIT FIRMSBrussels - The European Commission has decided to cut some of the red tape to allow audit firms from other countries, including the U.S., to operate in Europe.

The decision grants a transitional period for the registration requirements for audit firms from non-European Union countries. It also clarifies how the authorities in the EU's member states should deal with so-called "third-country" audit firms under the EU's Statutory Audit Directive, which the member states were supposed to have "transposed" into their national law on June 29 of this year. So far, 12 of the EU's 27 member states have completely implemented the directive, and most of the others have transposed major parts of the directive.

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