SEC APPROVES INDEPENDENCE RULEWashington, D.C. - The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board's proposed ethics and independence Rule 3526, Communication with Audit Committees Concerning Independence. The commission also approved an amendment to the interim independence standards and an amendment to Rule 3523, Tax Services for Persons in Financial Reporting Oversight Roles.

Rule 3526 builds on interim rules requiring a registered firm on at least an annual basis after becoming a company's auditor to make a written communication to the audit committee that the firm is independent. The rule also includes a new requirement for the firm to document the substance of its discussion with the audit committee.

Rule 3523 applies to all tax services performed for persons in a financial reporting oversight role during the audit and professional engagement period. It relates to services provided to individuals and not the audit clients.


London - The International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation has published a guide to the Extensible Business Reporting Language version of International Financial Reporting Standards.

IFRS Taxonomy Guide 1.00 provides information about the XBRL version of the international accounting standards, which translates them into an interactive data format.

The XBRL format promises to make financial statements from various companies easier for investors to analyze, while IFRS is being promoted as a way to make the financials of U.S. companies more easily comparable with those of foreign companies. Earlier this year, a codification in XBRL of U.S. generally accepted accounting principles was released.


Denver-based energy exploration and acquisition concern Venoco Inc. has hired Big Four firm Ernst & Young as its independent accountant, replacing Deloitte & Touche. In a filing, the company said that there were no disagreements with Deloitte on any matter of accounting principles or practices, financial statement disclosure, or auditing scope or procedure.


New York-based broker/dealer LaBranche & Co. has dismissed its auditor, Big Four firm KPMG, and named Rothstein, Kass & Co. PC as its new independent accountant.

According to an SEC filing, the consolidated financials for LaBranche and its subsidiaries for the years ended Dec. 31, 2007 and 2006, did not contain an adverse opinion or disclaimer of opinion, nor were such reports qualified or modified as to uncertainty, audit scope or accounting principles.

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