The nation's certified public accountants and underwriters are now held legally accountable for ensuring the accuracy of listed companies' financial reports they have certified following the emergence of several corporate scandals since late June, 2004.
"In order to maintain order in the market, all accountants will be held responsible for their duties in conducting checks into the finances of listed companies," Financial Supervisory Commission vice chairman Lu Daung-yen (
To safeguard investors' rights, the commission imposed penalties on a total of 15 certified public accountants for their professional negligence in certifying financial documents of such companies as Procomp Informatics Co (
The 15 accountants, who are mostly from well-known accounting firms including KPMG Certified Public Accountants, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and the Lan Jai Certified Public Accountants, were given punishments ranging from verbal warnings to a two-year suspension.
Among them, KPMG's Tsai Tien-yuan (
For violating Article 39 of the Securities and Exchange Law (
Despite complaints from accountants, the private sector lauded the financial regulator's move to put the onus on accountants, who will now have to take a more prudent attitude in reviewing listed companies' finances, including asset quality, cash flow and business performance.
"If financial reports certified by accountants aren't trustworthy, the nation's capital markets could collapse," said Liu Jen (