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KPMG to pay $10.5m to settle SEC auditing charges

Published on Jan 25, 2014 4:16 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US accounting firm KPMG violated rules aimed at maintaining auditors' independence from their clients and will pay US$8.2 million (S$10.5 million) to settle the charges, regulators said Friday.

The Securities and Exchange Commission found that KPMG broke the rules by providing prohibited non-audit services such as bookkeeping, corporate finance and expert services to affiliates of companies whose books they were auditing.

In addition, the SEC said in a statement, some KPMG personnel also owned stock in companies or affiliates of companies that were KPMG audit clients, in a further violation of the rules designed to ensure auditors maintain objectivity and impartiality in reviewing a client's books.

"KPMG compromised its role as an independent audit firm by providing prohibited non-audit services to companies that it was supposed to be auditing without any potential conflicts," John Dugan, associate director for enforcement in the SEC's Boston regional office, said in the statement.

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