The board voted in a meeting 4-0 to put the proposed rules through a 45-day public comment period, after which they would be submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission for final approval.
This move by the board is courting controversy with international companies. Representatives from the European Union have told board members that auditors outside the US must not be made to face conflicting laws and rules.
The British Embassy in Washington has said that it will seek exemption for British audit firms "on the basis that there is an equivalent system of regulation". The oversight board has countered this by saying that exemption of foreign auditors would not be in line with the board's mission.
Board member Daniel Goelzer emphasised that the panel has been discussing the issue for several months and it is not a reaction to accounting problems at Royal Ahold, the Dutch supermarket firm whose US traded shares crashed recently.
(Source : http://www.accountancymag.co.uk/)