September 20, 2000
Jonathan G. Katz, Secretary
Securities and Exchange Commission
450 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20549-0609
Dear Mr. Katz:
I have been practicing as a Certified Public Accountant for over 22 years and strongly object to the recent SEC proposals to change the rules with regard to our profession.
Broad restrictions on non-audit services will likely have the perverse effect of undermining auditor independence by making audit firms overly or exclusively dependent on auditing fees, which would certainly be contrary to the public interest. Such restrictions will also harm the recruitment and retention of the most qualified personnel, causing a possible degradation in audit quality.
The SEC's proposal to restrict the services offered by accounting firms represents a fundamental restructuring of a profession that has successfully given investors the reliable, independent data they need for the past century. A decision by a government agency to tell some business organizations what services they may offer and to tell other businesses from whom they can buy services is an extraordinary economic intervention without any empirical or other basis. We think most Americans would find this a curious public policy position for their government to take.
In conclusion, I strongly elicit your support with regard to this issue.
Very truly yours,
AMPER, POLITZINER & MATTIA
Michael A. Aversa, CPA