SEC Gives Big Five One More Day

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After complaints from members of the Big Five that their responses to the auditor independence issue have not been taken seriously, Arthur Levitt, chairman of the Securities & Exchange Commission, agreed to let them have their say.

Leading the pack of vocal dissenters has been Stephen G. Butler, KPMG Chairman and CEO, who pulled out of his designated 30 minute time slot in the hearings on Wednesday, which he was to share with five other witnesses, saying “The Commission is not seriously interested in hearing my views.”

The Financial Times reports that the third day of public hearings on the proposed SEC regulations will go on as regularly scheduled next Wednesday, September 20. The SEC has agreed to hold another day of hearings on Thursday, September 21. The short notice is not appeasing disgruntled members of the accounting profession which view the entire process as moving altogether too quickly.

The SEC announced its plans for new regulations that would invoke sweeping changes in the auditing profession only last JUne, and offered a 75-day period for statements and testimony. This swift enactment of new regulations has mystified many members of the accounting profession who see their entire livelihood being affected by the potential far-reaching plans.

Follow the continuing coverage of the SEC hearings as this important story unfolds.


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