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PCAOB Meets Today To Consider New Rules Separating Audit, Tax Services

Tammy Whitehouse | December 14, 2004

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board begins deliberations today on whether to draft rules that would restrict accounting firms from providing their audit clients with tax services.

Regulatory direction and public remarks by members of the Board and the Securities and Exchange Commission have hinted for months that accounting firms should brace themselves for the possibility. The Big Four firms have declined to discuss the issue at this stage. A PricewaterhouseCoopers spokesman said simply, “I don't think we will be in a position to comment until after the PCAOB issues its draft rule.”

SEC rules require public companies to file financial statements audited by a public accountant independent of the issuer. Corporate collapses and accounting scandals in recent years have brought independence rules into the spotlight along with a host of other accounting and...

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