There has been a proliferation of constituencies targeting the accounting profession. In civil actions, accounting firms face increasingly large claims by a variety of plaintiffs, including shareholders, bondholders, lenders and other creditors, litigation and bankruptcy trustees, and clients.

In criminal prosecutions, accountants have been charged with a host of crimes, including conspiracy, bribery, perjury, mail fraud, wire fraud and forgery. These actions and prosecutions are arising from myriad sources, including federal and state securities laws, Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement actions, Internal Revenue Service rules and regulations, Department of Labor regulations, and state licensing boards. The heightened enforcement standards of the SEC and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board have created a new environment for auditors.

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