Belgian Audit Oversight Board

Constantly improving the audit quality

International cooperation

Committee of European Auditing Oversight Bodies, CEAOB

Cooperation among the competent authorities of the European Member States is increasingly contributing to the quality of supervision. For this reason, the Belgian Audit Oversight Board is playing an active role as a member of the Committee of European Auditing Oversight Bodies (CEAOB).

Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, PCAOB

On 12 April 2021, the Belgian Audit Oversight Board (BAOB) entered into a cooperation agreement with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), the American oversight body for auditors. This cooperation agreement will enable the BAOB, together with the PCAOB, to carry out joint inspections in Belgium of audit firms acting as statutory auditors for Belgian companies listed on U.S. regulated markets (NYSE, NASDAQ, OTC, etc.).

The cooperation agreement is of particular importance in light of the U.S. Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act (HFCAC). This Act provides for the suspension by the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission of trading in financial instruments of foreign undertakings listed on American stock exchanges or American regulated markets if the PCAOB could not conduct inspections or investigations for three years or more in their home jurisdiction.

Conversely, the BAOB can also call upon the assistance of the PCAOB in examining the quality of the audit services provided by U.S. auditors for  Belgian enterprises whose audits are overseen by the BAOB and the PCAOB, for example in the context of the consolidated accounting of international groups.

The BAOB and the PCAOB also concluded a data protection agreement, approved by the Belgian Data Protection Authority on 7 April 2021, that governs the exchange of data in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Belgium is thus the second country in the EU to conclude a cooperation agreement with the PCAOB along with a data protection agreement that fully complies with the applicable regulations on the protection of personal data and with the position of the European Data Protection Committee in this regard.