PCAOB Starts Registering Broker-Dealer Auditors

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The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has issued guidance on the recent requirement for registration of auditors of privately held broker-dealers.

Until recently, by order of the Securities and Exchange Commission, registration of auditors of nonpublic broker-dealers was not necessary. However, as a result of the recent expiration of the SEC order, financial statements of nonpublic broker-dealers for fiscal years ending after Dec. 31, 2008, must now be certified by a PCAOB-registered public accounting firm.

The guidance, “PCAOB Staff Questions & Answers on the Registration of Auditors of Broker-Dealers,” provides information on the PCAOB registration process, including timing and fees; the extent to which applications are public and the process for seeking confidential treatment; and obligations associated with being registered, including periodic reporting and annual fee requirements.

The document supplements guidance on the same topic issued recently by the SEC staff and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The SEC FAQs and FINRA Information Notice documents are available on their respective Web sites.

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