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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

KPMG paying $8.2M to settle SEC charges of compromising independence with non-audit services

WASHINGTON - The big accounting firm KPMG has agreed to pay $8.2 million to settle U.S. regulators' charges of compromising its independence by providing non-audit services to companies whose books it audited.

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the settlement Friday with Montvale, New Jersey-based KPMG.

The SEC says KPMG violated auditor independence rules by providing prohibited non-audit services like bookkeeping to the companies involved. The companies weren't named. In addition, the SEC says some KPMG employees owned stock in companies that were KPMG audit clients.

KPMG neither admitted nor denied the allegations. KPMG agreed to hire an independent consultant to monitor its compliance with rules.

In a statement, the company said "KPMG has implemented internal changes that are designed to ensure its ability to comply with restrictions on providing non-audit services."

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