The SEC has proposed new rules to protect auditor independence that will place new responsibilities on mutual fund companies.

The rule proposal, if adopted, would require fund companies to disclose the types of services provided by their auditors and the fees charged for them if fees exceeded $50,000 or 10 percent of the fund's total audit fees. Also, the fund's board of directors would have to issue a statement on each service the accounting firm provided and whether an auditor's independence may have been compromised in providing that service.

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