Washington (March 12, 2003) -- The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has released for public comment its proposed rules to create a registration system for public accounting firms.

The Board's release, which contains the proposed rules and application form, is available online at www.pcaobus.org . Comments may be submitted by March 31 by e-mail to comments@pcaobus.org , electronically through the Board's website, or by regular mail addressed to the Office of the Secretary, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, 1666 K St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006-2803.

The Board will host a roundtable meeting March 31 to solicit views on whether the registration requirements should be modified for foreign public accounting firms and how the Board should discharge its oversight responsibilities with respect to registered foreign public accounting firms. The roundtable meeting will be Web cast and open to the public.

Under the proposed rules, any public accounting firm that wishes to prepare or issue any audit report with respect to any issuer (any public company that is required to file reports with the Commission or that has filed a registration statement for a public offering of securities), and any public accounting firm that "plays a substantial role in the preparation or furnishing of an audit report" with respect to any issuer will be required to register with the board. The proposed rules would also apply to non-U.S. public accounting firms.

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire Staff

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