Auditor Independence, Accounting Firms, and the Securities and Exchange Commission: Application of the Issue Life Cycle Model

Business and Society 42 (1):83-114 (2003)
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Abstract

The authors apply the issue life cycle model to analyze the 1999 through 2001 dispute between the Securities and Exchange Commission and the accounting profession concerning auditor independence. The analysis also brings additional insights that extend understanding of the issue life cycle and issues development. This analysis highlights the roles of a trigger event, the shift of an issue from a technical concern to a public debate, and likely recurrence. The reappearance of the auditor independence issue in 2002 with accounting scandals is consistent with the article’s findings and highlights the use of the issue life cycle model and issue evolution.

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