The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has entered into a cooperative agreement with the Spanish auditing firm regulator to allow joint inspections to begin this year for firms in Spain and the U.S.
The agreement with the Accounting and Auditing Institute of Spain (Instituto de Contabilidad y Auditoría de Cuentas) takes effect immediately, the PCAOB said Thursday.
“This critical agreement with Spain is a reflection of our continuing efforts to reach cooperative agreements with European Union member state regulators,” said PCAOB Chairman James R. Doty in a statement. “We look forward to working closely with our Spanish counterparts and believe it will be to our mutual benefit.”
There are 16 PCAOB-registered firms located in Spain, including firms affiliated with BDO, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Grant Thornton, KPMG, Mazars, PricewaterhouseCoopers and UHY.
The PCAOB has cooperative arrangements with regulators in five other European countries: Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Cooperative arrangements also have been reached with regulators in several countries in North America, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. The PCAOB is continuing to negotiate with regulators in numerous other European and non-European countries, including China, which has been a high priority for the board.
In addition to providing a framework for conducting joint inspections, the arrangement with the Spanish audit firm regulator provides for the exchange of confidential information between the ICAC and the PCAOB, consistent with certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Those provisions amended the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 to allow the PCAOB to share confidential information with non-U.S. counterpart regulators under certain circumstances. The cooperative arrangement with Spain also includes an agreement on data protection.
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