Accounting & Tax

Auditor Independence Body To Wrap Up Duties At Month End

Having laid the groundwork for improving independence standards, group discontinues operations after four years. StaffJuly 18, 2001

The Independence Standards Board, charged with developing tougher standards for auditors, will discontinue operations at the end of July, regulators said.

According to a Dow Jones Newswires report, after four years of operation, the board has largely fulfilled its mission, according to an announcement issued Tuesday by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

The SEC adopted new rules on auditor independence last year, requiring public companies to disclose more information about payments to accounting firms for audit and non-audit work.

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Acting SEC chairman Laura Unger said the SEC’s rules wouldn’t have been possible without the foundation laid by the Independence Standards Board and its members, says Dow Jones.

“The ISB gave us the impetus to improve the profession’s independence standards,” AICPA president Barry Melancon told Dow Jones. “The Board did a lot of groundwork and helped both the SEC and the profession to better understand independence issues and their ramifications.”

William Allen, chair of the Independence Standards Board, said the group worked hard to resolve different views on controversial issues and made significant progress.

In addition to Allen and Melancon, other ISB members include Vanguard Group chairman John Bogle, KPMG chairman and chief executive officer Stephen Butler, Johnson Smick International, Inc., co-chairman Manuel Johnson, Ernst & Young chairman and CEO Philip Laskawy and PricewaterhouseCoopers CEO James Schiro.

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