‘Stock exchange should pick US company auditors’

Link: WorldCom special report

Writing in the Asian edition of the Financial Times, David Skeel, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, said Sarbanes-Oxley addressed the issue of conflict of interest (in the case of firms providing consulting work to audit clients) but did not address the real problem: ‘the fact that each company picks its own auditor’.

He went on to say: ‘[President] Bush should have proposed that a truly independent body, such as the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq, assign the auditors of America’s largest companies.

‘Under such a system – with a stock exchange rather than the company as their client – auditors would now cast a much colder eye on the numbers they pore over each year, and would uncover corporate shenanigans much earlier.’

Skeel is also author of the soon to be published: Icarus in the Boardroom: The Fundamental Flaws in Corporate America and Where They Came From’ .

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