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SEC May Modify Auditor Conflict Proposal

October 26, 2000|Bloomberg News

The Securities and Exchange Commission, trying to win support for a proposal to prevent auditor conflicts of interest, may make concessions to firms that provide accounting and consulting services, sources involved in the talks said. The SEC and some big accounting firms have been at odds over a provision that would prohibit firms from doing computer consulting work for public companies they audit. It is the most hotly disputed part of an SEC proposal to limit consulting services, among the fastest-growing businesses at big accounting firms. The SEC staff, in private talks with three of the world's largest firms, has said that instead of a ban, the agency will consider increased disclosure of computer-consulting fees received by accounting firms, the sources said. Critics of the SEC's proposed curbs on computer consulting work have been pushing greater disclosure as a way to address potential conflicts.

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