Tags: Internal Controls, best-practice, internal audit, Hong Kong, deficiencies, future trading, SFC, China, Fined, compliance, Compliance in China, accounting, securities and futures commission, short sales, internal controls failures
Since our Vibato® Internal Control Suite® tools are available in Mandarin and our products have been being sold in China for several years, we are always interested in news surrounding SEC audits there. It is unfortunate to see a US-based auditing firm failing their clients and helping to continue the negative press China companies often receive while trying to comply with SEC standards.
Yesterday, the PCAOB issued Staff Audit Practice Alert No. 8: Audit Risks in Certain Emerging Markets, which the PCAOB says "focuses on the risks of misstatement due to fraud that auditors might encounter in audits of companies with operations in emerging markets, auditors' responsibilities for addressing those risks, and certain other auditor responsibilities under PCAOB auditing standards."
As widely reported on September 29, 2011, the Justice Department has joined the SEC in investigating alleged accounting fraud at Chinese companies listed on U.S. markets. In response, the market punished several Chinese companies listed on the Nasdaq (as much as 23%) which in turn brought the Nasdaq composite down over 1%.
Internal controls are often considered a necessary evil by finance executives and board members. And it's true that with so many strategic issues to address, it can be challenging to carve out the time and attention to ensure that internal controls are in place, designed appropriately, and operating effectively.