Where the quality - both competence and independence - of an audit is tested, often in the circumstance of a corporate failure, auditors frequently have good defenses as to their competency but rarely do they have equally convincing defenses for the objectivity of their decision-making or the independence of their audit. It is recommended that large audit firms establish an independence board with the authority to define, review and decide upon all threats and potential threats to independence. It would also have responsibility for quality-control and educational programs in respect of audit firm's independence decision-making. Firms would make transparent the processes of the boards, their membership and quality-control procedures. Firms would compete on their independence control processes and not just competence and price. Additionally, firms need to encourage a culture that rewards personnel for seeking counsel on issues pertinent to independence.
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