On the matter of access to audit work performed outside of Canada, CPAB continues to experience barriers as we conduct our inspections. Investors should be concerned when foreign laws and regulations impede or reduce the level of auditor oversight that they have come to expect in Canada. Certain countries, including China, continue to prevent CPAB from inspecting the audit work of Canadian public companies conducted in their jurisdictions.
We’ve made good progress working with Canadian securities regulators to amend legislation to improve this level of access, and most audit firms cooperate where we need access to working papers outside of Canada. While discussions are ongoing, we have yet to obtain access in China.
In October 2019, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) published proposed amendments to National Instrument 52-108 (CPAB’s governing document) intended to improve CPAB’s access to audit working papers, particularly in foreign jurisdictions. Learn more here.