SEC Chief Accountant Highlights Importance of Auditor Independence (October 28, 2021) – Accounting and Auditing

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United States: SEC Chief Accountant Highlights Importance of Auditor Independence (October 28, 2021)

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In a released statement, SEC Acting Chief Accountant Paul Munter Underline (i) the responsibilities of the auditors, management and audit committees in maintaining the independence of the auditor “in fact and in appearance” and (ii) the appropriate oversight by the audit committee of the independent auditor.

Noting how companies access public procurement and how audit firms are expanding into non-audit services, Mr. Munter urged:

  • audit committees and management to proactively monitor future business relationships that could impact auditor independence; and
  • audit firms to consider how a multi-year non-audit service or a business relationship with unaudited clients could affect the future independence of auditors.

Mr. Munter emphasized that auditors must adhere to the general standards of independence set out in the SEC Rule 210.2-01 (“Qualifications of Accountants”) under Regulation SX.

Mr. Munter also underlined the importance for audit committees to set the right “tone at the top” with regard to auditor independence and the quality of financial reporting.

Primary sources

  1. SEC Statement, Paul Munter: The Importance of High Quality Independent Audits and Effective Audit Committee Oversight for High Quality Financial Reporting to Investors

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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