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SEC considers amending auditor independence rules

Tammy Whitehouse | February 13, 2018

Complexity and consolidation may have created a global market environment in which truly independent auditors are impossible to find.

That’s the conundrum that is quietly under examination at the Securities and Exchange Commission, and it may lead to some new slack in auditor independence rules.

SEC Chief Accountant Wes Bricker is considering recommending an amendment to the detailed independence rules that prohibit auditors from having loans tied to audit clients. The thicket of rules that are under examination is contained in Regulation S-X, which governs the content of financial statements and establishes the qualifications of accountants to audit them.

The SEC established the current body of auditor independence rules in 2001, around the time that Enron was collapsing into bankruptcy and Sarbanes-Oxley...

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