Bloomberg Tax
Nov. 3, 2021, 8:45 AM

SEC Questions Auditor Independence as Firms’ Advisory Work Booms

Amanda Iacone
Amanda Iacone

The Securities and Exchange Commission has put major accounting firms on alert that it’s looking for conflicts of interest in their audit work because of growing consulting businesses and client mergers.

Two top SEC accountants recently called out CPA firms’ fast-growing advisory arms, saying aggressive growth strategies threaten auditor independence, a key investor safeguard.

The public remarks represent a shift in tone for an agency that only a year ago eased the application of its auditor independence rules, and reflect new leadership under Chairman Gary Gensler that is more focused on enforcing SEC rules than relaxing them.

“Under this administration, ...

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