AP News

US audit inspectors going to China as observers

Amid charges of accounting irregularities against Chinese companies that trade in the U.S., an official says Chinese regulators will allow U.S. accounting inspectors to go to China as observers under a tentative agreement.

The U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, a watchdog for the accounting industry, wants its inspectors to examine Chinese accounting firms that audit Chinese companies whose shares trade in the U.S. The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed civil charges against about a dozen of such companies and is investigating others.

Lewis Ferguson, a member of the accounting board, said in a speech in Irvine, Calif., Friday that the U.S. and China have agreed to let inspectors observe each other's examinations of accounting firms. That could eventually lead to joint U.S.-Chinese inspections of Chinese auditors, he said.

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