PWC DECLINES RE-ELECTION: Big Four firm PricewaterhouseCoopers declined to stand for re-election as the independent accounting firm for information technology consulting and software engineering provider Tier Technologies, following the completion of its audit for the year ended Sept. 30.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the firm did not give a reason for its declination. Tier Technologies said that it's in the process of seeking proposals from other accounting firms.

There were no disagreements between PwC and Tier Technologies on any matter of accounting principles or practices, financial statement disclosure, or auditing scope or procedure.

FRESH CHOICE APPOINTS MACIAS GINI: Fresh Choice Inc., operator of a chain of soup-and-salad-bar themed restaurants, named Macias Gini & Co. LLP as its new independent auditor.

That nomination, however, which was approved by its audit committee, is subject to bankruptcy court approval.

The company, based in California, filed for Chapter 11 in July. At the end of December, Fresh Choice chief executive Everett F. Jefferson resigned his post as per a prior separation agreement.

AVANEX ENGAGES DELOITTE & TOUCHE: Avanex Corp., a Fremont, Calif.-based designer and manufacturer of fiber optic products, appointed Big Four firm Deloitte & Touche as its new independent accountant, according to a federal filing.

Deloitte succeeds Ernst & Young as Avanex's auditor. Ernst had resigned the account in September.

GT RESIGNS PACIFIC BIOMETRICS: Pacific Biometrics, a Seattle-based provider of clinical laboratory services to drugmakers and medical device and diagnostic developers, said that national firm Grant Thornton had resigned as its independent accountant.

At press-time, a successor had not been named.

There were no disagreements on any matter of accounting principles or practices, financial statement disclosure, or auditing scope or procedure. However, Grant Thornton's reports for the past two fiscal years contained a paragraph regarding the company's ability to continue as a going concern.

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