Washington (July 29, 2003) -- Accounting firms that register with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board starting next month won't necessarily be allowed to withdraw that registration at a later date, even if they cease their auditing activities. Under a new rule proposed by the board Monday, firms targeted for investigation by PCAOB as well as those facing disciplinary proceedings will not be granted freedom to unilaterally withdraw from registration.

The Sarbanes-Oxley accounting reform law requires accounting firms to register with PCAOB in order to perform audit services for public companies.

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