Meeting of the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators, Toronto, 24-25 September 2007



    TORONTO, Sept. 26 /CNW/ - On 24 and 25 September 2007, independent audit
regulators from 21 countries participated in the second meeting of the
International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators ("IFIAR"). Details of the
membership of IFIAR can be found on the IFIAR website - www.ifiar.org. The
host for the meeting was the Canadian Public Accountability Board and the
meeting was chaired by Jeffrey Lucy, Commissioner, Australian Securities and
Investments Commission.
    The Financial Stability Forum, the International Organization of
Securities Commissions, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the
International Association of Insurance Supervisors, the Public Interest
Oversight Board and the European Commission were also present as observers on
24 September.
    Paul Boyle, Chief Executive Officer, UK Financial Reporting Council, was
appointed as incoming Chairman and Prof Dr Steven Maijoor, Managing Director,
Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets, as incoming Vice Chairman.

    
    Key areas for discussion at the meeting included:

    -   Possible implications for audit regulators of current market
        turbulence
    -   The role of audit inspections in driving audit quality
    -   Exchange of information between regulators
    -   Issues relating to International Auditing Standards.
    -   Audit market concentration and choice
    -   Cooperation between regulators in relation to registration and/or
        notification of auditors of foreign issuers
    -   The holding of workshops for members on audit inspection techniques
    -   Continue dialogue with other international organizations which have
        an interest in audit quality
    -   The future role and organization of IFIAR
    

    Current Market Turbulence

    Members discussed those aspects of the current market turbulence and
possibly related issues, such as those relating to valuation, contingent
liabilities and consolidation, which were of particular interest to audit
regulators. They agreed to consider further the issues and possible
implications as they may relate to audit regulators.

    Drivers of audit quality and the inspection process

    Members continued their discussion of audit quality including drivers
such as:

    
    -   The culture within the audit firm
    -   The skills and personal qualities of the audit partners and staff
    -   The quality of the audit process (including auditing and ethical
        standards)
    -   The reliability and usefulness of audit reporting
    

    They discussed the importance of and the benefits from the audit
inspection process and will further consider how best the inspection process
might maintain and, where necessary, enhance audit quality.

    Exchange of information between audit regulators

    Members will continue to keep under review the impediments to information
exchange between national regulators in relation to ongoing supervision,
investigation and enforcement activities in respect of cross-border group
audits and international audit networks.

    Issues relating to International Auditing Standards

    Members discussed the value of exchanging views on international auditing
and ethical standards under development and their application.

    Audit market concentration and choice

    Members received reports on the steps taken in some jurisdictions to
examine the issues of concentration and choice in the audit market.

    Foreign auditor registration

    Members exchanged views on the arrangements currently or shortly to be in
place in a number of jurisdictions requiring the registration and/or
notification of the auditors of foreign issuers.

    Audit inspection workshops

    Audit inspections remain a core area of focus for IFIAR. Following the
successful workshop held in Amsterdam on May 2007 IFIAR agreed to hold a
further workshop for members to provide an opportunity for the exchange of
inspection techniques and experiences, and for discussing emerging issues. A
working group was established to identify priorities for the next workshop,
which will be held in Berlin in early 2008.

    Dialogue with other international organizations

    IFIAR will continue dialogue with other international organizations with
an interest in audit quality to exchange views and to explore in which areas
IFIAR might make the most effective contribution to audit quality

    Future role and organization of IFIAR.

    Members reviewed the functioning of IFIAR over the year since it was
established. They formed a task force to make recommendations to IFIAR's next
meeting in April in respect of the IFIAR's future directions, organization,
resourcing and governance.

    Next meeting

    IFIAR will hold its next meeting in Oslo in April 2008 at the invitation
of Kredittilsynet - the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway.





For further information:

For further information: about this press release, please contact
either: the IFIAR Chairman - Mr Paul Boyle, Chief Executive of the Financial
Reporting Council in the United Kingdom, on +44 (0)20 7492 2300 or by email to
his assistant, d.green@frc.org.uk; the IFIAR Vice-Chairman, - Prof Dr Steven
Maijoor, Managing Director, Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets,
on +31 20 797 2225 or by e-mail to his assistant, martijn.duffels@afm.nl


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