LONNY H. JONES
2610 RIVER OAKS DRIVE
ARLINGTON, TEXAS 76011
August 14, 2000
Mr. Jonathan G. Katz, Secretary
Securities and Exchange Commission
450 Fifth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20549-0609
Dear Mr. Katz,
I am deeply disturbed at the Securities and Exchange Commission's proposed rule governing auditor independence. The accounting profession has long held itself apart from other professionals with their independence standards and enjoys the best trust ratings from the general public.
This proposal appears to lack facts or evidence that auditor independence is a problem. The Panel on Audit Effectiveness of the Public Oversight Board, formed at your request, concluded that audit quality was not impaired. Your rules placing restrictions on audit firm services implies that a problem does exist and will be detrimental to public trust.
Such a rule would preclude the best accounting students from entering a profession where long-term growth is reduced by limited business opportunities. Over time, the best and brightest would not enter the audit field and the quality of audits would suffer from this lack of talent.
More importantly, this proposed rule will be the trigger for other state and federal regulators to enact additional regulation that will adversely the quality of personnel entering the profession and ultimately drive up the cost of audit services.
Through the efforts of the SEC and audit firms, this country has the best financial reporting system in the world. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Lonny H. Jones, CPA