Wednesday, May 9, 2012
The SEC announced an enforcement action against Shanghai-based Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu CPA Ltd. for its refusal to provide the agency with audit work papers related to a China-based company under investigation for potential accounting fraud against U.S. investors. According to the SEC, the agency has been making extensive efforts for more than two years to obtain documents related to the firm’s work for the company, which issues U.S. securities registered with the SEC. The firm is charged with violating the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which requires foreign public accounting firms to provide audit work papers concerning U.S. issuers to the SEC upon request. D&T Shanghai has nonetheless failed to provide the documents, citing Chinese law as the reason for its refusal. SEC staff also has sought to obtain the relevant audit work papers through international sharing mechanisms, yet these efforts have been unsuccessful.
This is the first time the Commission has brought an enforcement action against a foreign audit firm for failing to comply with a Section 106 request.