Chinese affiliates of the Big Four accounting firms have agreed to pay half a million dollars each to settle a dispute with the Securities and Exchange Commission to avoid temporary suspension of the firms’ right to audit US-traded firms, The Wall Street Journal reported. The settlement follows a judge’s ruling last year that the accounting firms had violated US law when they refused to give the SEC audit-work papers on some Chinese clients the commission was investigating. Under the US$2 million agreement, the firms’ Chinese arms agreed to follow procedures designed to ensure the SEC can obtain audit documents from them in the future.
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