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SEC Pursues Independence Charges Against Mayer Hoffman McMann

Tammy Whitehouse | October 17, 2014

Audit firm Mayer Hoffman McCann and one of its audit clients are under fire from the Securities and Exchange Commission for alleged violations of auditor independence rules over stock trades.

The SEC says MHM audit client TradeBot, a high-tech, high-frequency broker-dealer, owned shares of publicly traded consulting firm CBIZ, to which MHM is tied under an “alternative practice structure” in violation of auditor independence rules. The SEC says CBIZ and MHM are regarded as a single entity for purposes of interpreting auditor independence rules, and companies are not permitted under those rules to hold an ownership stake in the firm that audits its financial statements.

In separate administrative proceedings against both MHM and Tradebot, the SEC says MHM audited Tradebot annual reports from 2004 to 2012, and that Tradebot invested in...

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