Review of Audit Committees May Call for Restructuring

A senior SEC official said Friday that a report from an independent committee is expected to require more restrictions for auditor independence and could possibly call for restructuring of public audit firms. The independent committee was hired to review the role of audit committees at publicly traded companies and will issue its first report in April and the final report by summer.

The report by the Public Oversight Board is expected to have “very significant” findings. Possible recommendations include mandatory peer reviews and management reports on internal controls.

Once the SEC receives the findings, the recommendations most likely will be taken seriously since the agency initiated the establishment of the committee. The SEC has been made aware of all activities of the committee since its formation with the focus being auditor independence violations.

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