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Liability Waiver Revived; Big 4 Not So Big

Tammy Whitehouse | September 26, 2006

A key committee of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has concluded that liability waivers will not necessarily weaken an auditing firm’s independence, so long as the firm promises to conform to Generally Accepted Auditing Standards.

The AICPA’s Professional Ethics Executive Committee recently re-exposed a draft document outlining its views on factors that could compromise an auditor’s independence. It proposes one new and one revised interpretation under Rule 101, Independence, based on comments it received to a similar exposure draft issued a year earlier.

The first and perhaps most significant proposal says that certain types of indemnification and provisions limiting an auditing firm’s liability threaten the auditor’s independence because they may give an auditor a false sense of security and encourage less thorough auditing. The proposal says the threat can be mitigated, however, if the... To get the full story, subscribe now.