An SEC proposal to update its "auditor independence" rules and codify certain staff consultations was published in the Federal Register. Comments must be submitted by March 16, 2020.
- clarify certain affiliate relationships in common control scenarios;
- lessen the look-back period for domestic first-time filers when assessing compliance with the independence requirements;
- expand the categorical exclusions from independence-impairing lending relationships to include certain student loans and de minimis consumer loans;
- replace the reference to "substantial stockholders" under the "business relationship rule" with a substantial influence analysis; and
- introduce a transition framework that addresses "inadvertent" independence violations that result from corporate events such as mergers and acquisitions.
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