SEC Proposed To Modernize Auditor Independence Rules

As is usual, there are times where I find there are fewer current events to write about in the world of capital markets and I go back to the basics of this regulatory regime I find so fascinating, and others where I have 30 current topics in my writing queue and then a global pandemic occurs adding daily new topics to my list and poof! – six months goes by.  Although they were bumped down the list, many of the proposed and completed regulatory changes, and other events, that were on the list remain worthy of attention.

In December 2019, the SEC proposed amendments to codify and modernize certain aspects of the auditor independence framework.  The current audit independence rules were created in 2000 and amended in 2003 in response to the financial crisis facilitated by the downfall of Enron, WorldCom and auditing giant Arthur Andersen, and despite evolving circumstances have remained unchanged since that time.  The new rules