A US PROBE into the role of accountants in preventing another financial crisis has been launched, and its parameters mirror questions being asked in the UK.

The Senate Committee on Banking heard from James Kroeker, chief accountant of US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission. He said transparent reporting and objective auditing assume even greater important during times of financial crisis, and highlighted the importance of effective standards setting.

Other witnesses included James Doty, chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (pictured above), who strongly called for the body's disciplinary proceedings to be made public. He said this would benefit investors, issuers and auditors, claiming it would prevent them being "kept in the dark" after hearings resulting in adverse findings.

The first session took place yesterday, and experts in audit, financial standards and commerce gave evidence to the board, which is chaired by Democrat senator Tim Johnson.

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