The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), a non-profit entity established by the US Congress to oversee the audits of public companies, has barred the Hong Kong affiliate of accounting firm Crowe Horwath from auditing US-traded firms, the Wall Street Journal reports.
According to the paper, the move came after accusations that the firm refused to cooperate with the regulator’s investigation in relation to work for a Chinese company.
Crowe Horwath Hong Kong refused to hand over audit work papers and other documents relating to its audits of an unidentified Chinese firm that the PCAOB had demanded as part of an investigation, the US government’s audit regulator was quoted as saying.
The PCAOB “is prepared to bring enforcement proceedings for the protection of investors if firms, including those based in China, shirk their obligations under US law,” the regulator said, announcing the sanctions on Crowe Horwath (HK) CPA Ltd.
Crowe Horwath Hong Kong is said to have admitted to its conduct in a settlement with the PCAOB.
The firm’s registration to audit US-traded companies was revoked, though it may reapply after three years.
The Hong Kong firm had requested last October to withdraw from its US registration, according to the report.
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