SEC Calls for Accounting Industry Self-Regulation

Sometimes, the most important aspect of the accounting profession is its image, and SEC chair Arthur Levitt strongly believes the image is tarnished and needs to be polished.

In the wake of the SEC's allegations that PricewaterhouseCoopers committed independence violations, Levitt believes the accounting profession's independence rules prohibiting auditors from owning stock in their client-companies needs to be reviewed. The need is there not only for the sake of the review, but to restore confidence in the profession with the public.

One way to ensure independence is to become self-regulatory, says Levitt, although he also said that the rules weren't written overnight and everyone connected to the profession, especially the Big 5 firms, should be very familiar with the dos and don'ts.

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