SEC:Discussion of Current Information Access Challenges with Respect to U.S.-listed Companies with Significant Operations in China

11 Dec, 2018 11:26
source: 香港奇点财经Singularity Financial

当地时间12月7日,SEC和PCAOB(美国公众公司会计监管委员会)发布声明——《关于审计质量和监管获取审计和其他国际信息的重要作用声明——关于在中国有大量业务的美国上市公司当前信息获取的挑战讨论》。

与该文件相对应,PCAOB网站已经详细列出了遭遇审计障碍的上市公司名单及其审计机构,大量中国内地、香港、比利时公司在列。

该声明认为,这可能导致中国上市公司在美国融资时遭遇更多的风险定价补偿要求,或者被监管当局施以更严格的信披要求、施加更多的新证券发行限制。对于寻求在美国发展及融资的中国公司而言,构成巨大风险和挑战。

跨国公司的外部审计需要全球协调

External Audits of Multinational Companies Require Global Coordination

跨国公司必须遵守其开展经营和进行活动国家的财务报告义务,同时必须编制包括其全球金融交易和项目的合并财务报表。公司履行报告义关键是公司外部审计师的工作因此,外部审计公司必须能够在全球范围内协调其审计服务。

A multinational company must comply with financial reporting obligations in many of the countries in which it has operations and activities, and it must prepare consolidated financial statements that include its financial transactions and events worldwide.  Critical to a company’s compliance with these financial reporting obligations is the work of the company’s external auditor.  Accordingly, an external audit firm must be able to conduct or coordinate the delivery of its audit services on a worldwide basis.

其中最大的审计业务是通过全球网络和个别公司的其它附属机构进行协调的。个别公司会受到基于管辖权的所有权,许可,注册和其他监管要求的约束。

The largest of these audits are conducted or coordinated through global networks and other affiliations of individual firms.  The individual firms are subject to jurisdiction-based ownership, licensing, registration, and other regulatory requirements, even as they draw on, for example, globally common technologies, tools, methodologies, training, and quality assurance monitoring.

公司合并财务报表的审计报告通常只由审计公司全球网络中的一家公司签署。对于在美国上市的公司,必须向PCAOB提交的公开披露表格使投资者和其他人能够确定其它公司(包括通过全球网络联系的公司)是否参与了审计,并确定参与的程度如何。

The auditor’s report for a company’s consolidated financial statements is typically signed by only one firm in the audit firm’s global network.  For U.S.-listed companies, publicly available disclosure forms filed with the PCAOB enable investors and others to identify whether other firms, including firms affiliated through a global network, participated in the audit and, when certain thresholds are met, the extent of their participation.

监管国际财务报告和审计需要大型的跨境监管合作

Regulatory Oversight of International Financial Reporting and Auditing Requires Significant Cross-Border Regulatory Cooperation

当今全球业务和审计环境的现实推动了监管合作,就像它推动基于司法管辖区的审计公司形成网络和其他附属机构一样。简而言之,要使监管有效,全球管机构必须共同努力。因为全球证券和审计监管机构都肩负着保护投资者和培育市场诚信的共同使命。就跨国公司而言,如果主要监管机构(通常是主要上市国)的工作受到国界的限制,就不可能履行这一至关重要的职能。

The reality of today’s global business and audit environment drives regulatory cooperation, in much the same way as it has driven jurisdiction-based audit firms to form networks and other affiliations.  In short, for oversight to be effective, regulators around the globe must work together.  This makes sense as the world’s securities and audit regulators share a common mission to protect investors and foster market integrity.  In the case of multinational companies, fulfilling this all-important function is not possible if the work of the principal regulators—typically the country or countries with the primary listings—is limited by national borders.

美国资本市场的主要监管者对国际财务报告和审计的态度多方面的

The Approach of the Principal U.S. Capital Markets Regulators to International Financial Reporting and Auditing is Multifaceted

SEC的三个任务是保护投资者,维护公平,有序和有效的市场促进资本形成。SEC通过管理和强制要求上市公司基金和经纪自营商向投资者提供经审计的财务报表等职责来实现其使命。作为全球最大证券市场的主要监管机构,管理和执行可靠财务报告的要求需要SEC参与许多超出美国边界的命题。

The SEC’s three-part mission is to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation.  The SEC advances its mission by, among other responsibilities, administering and enforcing requirements for public companies, funds, and broker-dealers to provide audited financial statements to investors.  As the primary regulator of the world’s largest securities markets, administering and enforcing the requirements for reliable financial reporting requires the SEC to be engaged in many topics that extend beyond the U.S. borders.

事实上,国际资本投资的流动不仅给美国上市公司和经济利益带来了挑战,而且也给SEC在全球财务报告中保护透明度和问责制的努力带来了挑战。

Indeed, the flow of international capital investment presents challenges, not just for U.S.-listed companies and economic interests, but also for the SEC’s efforts to protect transparency and accountability in financial reporting globally.  Protecting transparency and accountability in financial reporting is vital.

SEC会负责监督PCAOB,后者负责监管上市公司和在SEC注册的经纪人和交易商的审计工作。美国法律要求PCAOB对所有发布此类审计报告或在编制报告中发挥重要作用的注册会计师事务所(包括国内和国外)进行定期检查。这检查旨在通过确保审计公司遵守PCAOB等标准来保护美国公共资本市场的投资者。

The SEC oversees the PCAOB, which, in turn, is the principal U.S. regulator that oversees the audits of public companies and SEC-registered brokers and dealers.  The PCAOB is required by U.S. law to conduct regular inspections of all registered public accounting firms, both domestic and foreign, that issue such audit reports or play a substantial role in the preparation of them.  These inspections seek to protect investors in the U.S. public capital markets by ensuring that audit firms adhere to, among other things, PCAOB standards.

PCAOB在全球范围内对PCAOB注册的公司进行检査,并在美国之外50个不同的司法管辖区对在PCAOB注册的公司进行检查。对于在国外注册的会计师事务所PCAOB与美国以外的审计监管机构进行广泛的密切合作。

The PCAOB conducts inspections of PCAOB-registered firms across the globe and has inspected PCAOB-registered firms in 50 different non-U.S. jurisdictions.  With respect to foreign-registered public accounting firms, the PCAOB cooperates closely with audit regulators outside the United States, and the scope of that cooperation is extensive.

来自跨境协作的一个例子,是PCAOB在独立审计监管机构国际论坛(IFIAR)的活跃成员该论坛由来自世界各地的53个独立审计监管机构组成。

An example of this cross-border collaboration and cooperation is the PCAOB’s active membership in the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR), which consists of 53 independent audit regulators from around the world.

解决对获取信息和审计检査的特定国家的限制条件是一项复杂的任务

Addressing Country-Specific Restrictions on Access to Information and Auditor Inspections is a Complex Task that Requires Extensive Cooperation and Ongoing Attention

影响美国资本市场监管机构监管责任的一个重要问题涉及外国隐私和其他数据保护法,这些法律对跨境信息共享产生重大影响。许多国家的法律,包括封锁法规和数据保护,隐私,保密银行保密,国家保密和国家安全法律,都是为了实现国家目标而制定的。但它们也经常为监管机构和境外注册者之间的跨境信息流动制造障碍,因此,使履行管理职责的能力复杂化,在某些情况下甚至受到妨碍。

An important issue affecting the oversight responsibilities of U.S. capital markets regulators involves foreign privacy and other data protection laws, which significantly impact cross-border information sharing.  Various countries’ laws, including blocking statutes and data protection, privacy, confidentiality, bank secrecy, state secrecy, and national security laws, are designed to achieve national objectives.  But they also frequently create obstacles to cross-border flows of information between regulators and foreign-domiciled registrants, thus complicating, and in some instances impeding, the ability to carry out regulatory responsibilities.

对PCAOB审计检査限制的另一个重大挑战是关于PCAOB审计检查和信息的相关法规使用PCAOB目前仅限于在该国对在PCAOB注册的公司(包括香港在内,就其审计客户在该国开展业务方面来讲)。PCAOB一直致力于增加对该国审计工作文件的访问,但进展缓慢,仍无法确定一个令人满意的解决方案。

Another significant challenge is with regard to PCAOB audit inspections and the related regulatory uses of the information.  The PCAOB is currently restricted from inspecting audit work and practices of PCAOB-registered firms in China (including Hong Kong, to the extent their audit clients have operations in China).  The PCAOB has worked to increase its access to China’s audit work papers, but progress has been slow and satisfactory resolution remains uncertain.

如果PCAOB无法对在美国上市的外国公司进行审核,那么这些公司的投资者就无法获得PCAOB检查可带来的切实的提高质量的好处为了更好地告知投资者PCAOB无法在某些司法管辖区进行检查。

Where the PCAOB is not able to conduct inspections of audits of foreign-based companies listed in the U.S., investors in these companies do not receive the tangible, quality-enhancing benefits that can result from PCAOB inspections.

监管机构改善信息获取和审计检查尚未取得令人满意的进展

Efforts with Chinese Regulators to Improve Information Access and Audit Inspections are Ongoing but We Have Not Yet Made Satisfactory Progress  

虽然信息障碍在多个司法管辖区内仍然存在,但上述讨论的关于该国的这些问题的解决对投资者来说是最重要的。SEC和PCAOB近矩来一直寻求与该国官员和监管机构进行建设性对话,强调投资者保护的重要性以及财务报告审计服务的质量。尽管做出了这些努力,我们尚未取得令人满意的进展。

While information barriers certainly continue to exist in multiple jurisdictions, we believe the resolution of these issues discussed above with China is of the most significance to investors.  The SEC and the PCAOB have sought constructive dialogues with Chinese officials and regulators over recent years, emphasizing the importance of investor protection and the quality of financial reporting and audit services.  Despite these efforts, we have not yet made satisfactory progress.

当前主要目标是与该国当局达成一定程度的合作:(1)尊重该国和美国的主权:(使SEC和PCAOB能够及时获得进行调查或检查所需的信息。

Our principal goal is to achieve a level of cooperation with the Chinese authorities that both (1) respects Chinese and U.S. sovereignty, and (2) enables the SEC and PCAOB to have timely access to the information necessary to conduct investigations or inspections.

迄今未能与相关当局实现这种程度的监管合作,引发了一些投资者保护和一般监管问题。

The inability to date to achieve this level of regulatory cooperation with Chinese authorities raises a number of investor protection and general oversight issues.

长期以来,美国股市一直对外国公司具有吸引力,因为美国股市的效性,以及品牌提升和知名度提高带来的潜在好处。许多该国公司,以及在该国拥有重要业务的公司都在寻求这些好处,这些好处的驱动因素包括美国实施以及监管和强制执行。

The U.S. stock markets have long been attractive to foreign companies because of their efficiency and liquidity as well as the potential benefits offered in the form of brand-name enhancement and increased visibility.  Many China-based companies, and companies that have significant operations in China, have sought these benefits.  The factors driving these benefits include the application of U.S. disclosure requirements as well as regulatory oversight and enforcement.

当前重要的是要认识到PCAOB检查和SEC监管活动,不仅有助于提高被检查的外国审计师的美国上市客户的审计质量,也提供了惠及这些这些审计人员没有在美国上市的外国客户的可能。换句话说,专注于美国上市公司审计工作的PCAOB检查程序可能会促使主要审计公司改善其美国公司方面的工作。

We believe it also is important to recognize that PCAOB inspections and SEC regulatory activities not only help to improve audit quality for the inspected foreign auditors’ U.S. listed clients, but also provide benefits that may spread to these auditors’ non-U.S.-listed foreign public clients. Said another way, the PCAOB inspection process that focuses on audits of U.S.-listed companies may drive the subject audit firm to improve its work in respect of companies that are not U.S.-listed

参考链接:https://www.sec.gov/news/public-statement/statement-vital-role-audit-quality-and-regulatory-access-audit-and-other