The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board is giving itself an extension on its own deadline. Compliance Week blogger Tammy Whitehouse says the regulator voted to delay its 2009 international inspections for up to three years.
The Securities and Exchange Commission will have to approve the delay before it becomes official, Whitehouse says. However, the SEC recently approved a similar delay for the PCAOB's 2008 international inspections, so a second one shouldn't be a problem.
The problem arises from the fact that audit regulators in some countries are resisting the PCAOB's requests to inspect companies there, "citing legal conflicts and sovereignty concerns," Whitehouse says.
Outgoing chair Mark Olson says "cooperative" arrangements with the PCAOB's international counterparts are "the most appropriate approach." In other words, a slight delay now will be worth it in the long term.