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Study Shows No Better Reporting After Auditors Cut Tax Services

Tammy Whitehouse | April 10, 2015

U.S. auditor independence rules targeted at tax work have done nothing to improve financial reporting quality, according to new academic research out of Singapore.

Clive Lennox of Nanyang Technological University studied filings from 2002 through 2009 to see the effect before implementation, during transition, and after adoption of auditor independence rules written by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. Rules 3521, 3522, and 3523 bar audit firms from providing services on a contingent-fee basis, from providing aggressive tax planning services that are not likely to hold up under tax examination, and from providing tax services to individuals who have roles in financial reporting with audit clients....

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