Washington - The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has begun the process of releasing the names of public accounting firms that have submitted applications for registration with the oversight body created as a result of the sweeping Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform legislation.

Under Sarbanes-Oxley, firms that audit public companies must be registered with the PCOAB by Oct. 22 in order to continue preparing audits. Non-U.S. firms have until April 19, 2004, to register. The board has 45 days in which to review registration applications.

The PCAOB said that firms submitting applications after the first week in September may not receive approval by the Oct. 22 deadline.

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