Auditor Independence Whistleblower Lawyer
Are you aware of an improper auditor relationship? Find out if the SEC would reward your tip by speaking with an auditor independence whistleblower lawyer.
Auditor independence is an area that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been taking an increasing interest in. According to federal securities laws, auditors must be completely independent of the company or firm they audit. This applies to both personal and professional relationships that could interfere with an auditor’s objectivity.
When this objectivity is compromised, it creates a situation that may call for sanctions imposed by the SEC. If these sanctions exceed $1,000,000, the person who supplied the information will collect a substantial reward. If you think that you might possess such information, an auditor independence whistleblower lawyer from Meissner Associates can help you submit your tip anonymously and effectively.
When Is Auditor Independence Compromised?
In essence, if a reasonable, fully informed investor would question an auditor’s independence, then it can be considered compromised. This could be the result of an improper business relationship or a personal one, and the SEC is equally interested in both.
Improper business ties are probably the most common. These can even result in the auditor essentially acting as an employee or manager of the company being audited, creating a clear conflict of interest. These are just a few possible scenarios that the SEC would likely take action against:
- The auditor owns stock in the company being audited
- The auditor is put into a position where he or she is auditing his or her own work
- The audit firm loans their employees to act as staff for the company being audited
- The auditor lobbies on behalf of the audited client
- The audit firm prepares financial statements for clients that they also audited
Personal Relationships Can Interfere with Auditor Independence
While business relationships can take any number of forms that interfere with auditor objectivity, the SEC has become increasingly interested in cracking down on improper personal relationships that compromise the auditor’s role.
For example, a romantic relationship between an auditor and an employee of the audited company is a glaring conflict of interest that calls into question all of the auditor’s work. An auditor independence whistleblower lawyer from our firm can help you determine if there is sufficient evidence of such a relationship that the SEC would find compelling.
These relationships do not have to be romantic, however. Any time that an auditor is too friendly with the company being audited, it raises questions about the auditor’s objectivity. Whether this relationship is one of friendship or belonging to a social organization, if there is a link, it merits further scrutiny.
Free and Confidential Tip Evaluation
If you have knowledge of an auditor who’s lost objectivity, the SEC needs to know about it. Meissner Associates has in-depth, firsthand experience with the SEC rules regarding whistleblowers because our founder helped write them. We can put this knowledge to work for you.
Submit your tip for a free and confidential evaluation and find out if you could be eligible for a financial reward. An experienced auditor independence whistleblower lawyer will review your information and give you an honest opinion. Just submit the form below or call us at 1-866-764-3100.