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U.S. sees talks with China on corporate audits

Nov 09 2012 Dena Aubin, Reuters

U.S. regulators have made another step in normalizing relations with China on oversight of corporate auditing aimed at the many Chinese companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges. U.S. officials for the first time have completed a round of observations in China of inspections of auditors by that country's regulators, and talks are expected by year-end between Chinese and U.S. officials on access to audit documents, a key aspect of the auditor regulation process, the top U.S. auditor watchdog told Reuters Thursday. James Doty, chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), said obstacles remain, but the upcoming talks could result in a "major breakthrough." "The fact that it is a serious discussion with decision-makers who are aware of the complexities of the issues on both sides is new," Doty said. The PCAOB was formed by Congress a decade ago to police the auditing industry after a rash of U.S. corporate accounting blow-ups including the Enron scandal.

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