Auditor independence is an important underpinning of the federal securities laws. These laws require that registrants' financial statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) be audited by independent public accountants. The focus on independence for public company auditors was increased in light of the requirements of the Sarbanes‐Oxley Act of 2002 to strengthen auditor independence.

These instructional resources provide background information on the current SEC auditor independence rules. After becoming familiar with these rules, you will have the opportunity to complete several case scenarios that address: (1) hypothetical settings that may represent violations of the SEC independence rules, (2) possible actions that an audit committee might take when it determines that the SEC independence rules may have been violated, and (3) possible alternatives to the current SEC independence rules that could achieve the desired public policy goals of objective audits and investor confidence.

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