SEC Staff Responds to Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Auditor Independence


Washington, D.C., Aug. 13, 2003 -- The Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of the Chief Accountant today provided its responses to 35 frequently asked questions regarding the application of the Commission's rules on auditor independence. On Jan. 28, 2003, the SEC released new regulations strengthening the Commission's existing requirements regarding auditor independence. See Release No. 33-8183.

The staff's responses are intended to assist registrants and their audit committees, audit firms, and other market participants in the understanding of and compliance with the new regulations. The document includes the staff's responses to questions in the general areas of:

  • partner rotation and transition questions
  • other audit partner and partner rotation matters
  • nonaudit services
  • audit committee pre-approval
  • audit committee communications
  • fee disclosures
  • "cooling off" period
  • broker-dealers and investment advisers

The staff's responses can be found on the Commission's Web site at

Last modified: 8/13/2003