Federal Audit Oversight Authority
The Federal Audit Oversight Authority was established in connection with the revision of the Law of Obligations and the introduction of the Auditor Oversight Act of 16 December 2005. The reform of the Law of Obligations and the Federal Act on the Licensing and Oversight of Auditors was a response to international developments, especially to the enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the United States of America and similar developments within the European Union following several corporate and accounting scandals and the ruin of various companies both at home and abroad which revealed the need for reliable auditing.
The Federal Audit Oversight Authority came into being on 1 September 2007. Its task is to ensure that audits are conducted correctly and are of a high quality. To this end, the Oversight Authority operates a licensing office and maintains a public register with the names of natural persons and legal entities that provide auditing services required by law. In addition, the Oversight Authority supervises auditing companies which provide auditing services for public companies and inspects them at least every three years. It co-operates closely with other official oversight authorities, stock markets, law enforcement agencies, civil courts and auditing oversight agencies abroad.
Although the Oversight Authority is, for administrative purposes, assigned to the Federal Department of Justice and Police, it is a public-law entity with its own legal personality and oversees the auditing sector autonomously. It has a self-governing structure and management, and manages its own account independently of the federal revenue and expenditure account.