INDEPENDENCE RULES BEEFED UPNew York — An international accounting standard-setter has issued a revised set of proposals designed to strengthen the independence requirements for accountants.

The International Ethics Standards Board, an independent standard-setting board within the International Federation of Accountants, has issued a “re-exposure draft” of several proposals it had issued earlier. The latest set enhances two areas of the independence requirements in the IFAC Code of Ethics.

The first proposal prohibits auditors from providing internal audit services related to internal controls, financial systems or financial statements to an audit client that is a public interest entity, in order to further strengthen their objectivity in carrying out audits.

The second proposal requires that an annual pre- or post-issuance review be conducted by a professional accountant who is not a member of the firm when the revenues from one public interest entity client exceed 15 percent of total firm revenue for two consecutive years. The proposal provides a safeguard against the threat to independence when a firm receives a significant portion of its revenues from a single client.

Comments on the exposure draft are due Aug. 31, 2008. The exposure draft is available at Comments may be e-mailed to


Cincinnati-based Chiquita Brands International has hired Big Four firm PricewaterhouseCoopers as its auditor, replacing Ernst & Young. In a filing, the producer of bananas and other fresh cut fruits said that there were no disagreements with its former auditor on any matter of accounting practices or principles, financial statement disclosure, or auditing scope or procedure. It did not state a reason for the change in independent accountants.


InTest Corp., a Cherry Hill, N.J.-based designer and manufacturer of manipulator and docking hardware for the semiconductor industry, has dismissed Big Four firm KPMG as its auditor and named McGladrey & Pullen as its replacement. KPMG’s audit reports for the years ended Dec. 31, 2006 and 2007, did not contain any adverse opinion or disclaimer of opinion, and were not qualified or modified as to uncertainty, audit scope or accounting principles.


Biopharmaceutical concern Affymax Inc. has dismissed its auditor, Big Four firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, and named Ernst & Young as its new independent accountant. In a filing, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company reported no disagreements with its former auditor on any matters of accounting.

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