Auditor Independence: Individual Auditor

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Our expert’s analysis showed that the audit partner did not impair his independence as a result of the non-audit services provided to the audit client.

Defense counsel for an audit partner of an international accounting firm retained Cornerstone Research to support John Owens of the University of Southern California in a case involving an audit of a publicly traded company.

The SEC claimed that the audit partner’s independence had been impaired due to the provision of certain non-audit services and the reporting of those services to the company’s audit committee. Professor Owens addressed issues related to the independence, both in fact and appearance, of the audit partner.

Professor Owens analysis showed that the audit partner did not impair his independence.

Professor Owens presented analyses of PCAOB, SEC, and firm-specific guidance relevant to the facts of the case. His analysis showed that the audit partner did not impair his independence as a result of the non-audit services provided to the audit client.


For more information on this case, contact Elaine HarwoodFrank Mascari, or Sean Kruskol.

Case Expert

John D. Owens

Professor of the Practice, Leventhal School of Accounting,
Marshall School of Business,
University of Southern California;
Former Audit Partner, KPMG LLP