An issuer may hire an employee of a registered public accounting firm who served on the audit engagement team within the previous year for what position?
Under SEC independence regulations, an accounting firm may not be independent with respect to an audit client if a former partner, principal, shareholder, or professional employee accepts employment with a client. Independence is impaired if (s)he (1) has a continuing financial interest in the firm or (2) is in a position to influence the firm’s operations or financial policies. Moreover, an accounting firm is not independent if a CEO, CFO, controller, or person in an equivalent position for an issuer was (1) employed by that firm and (2) participated in any capacity in the audit of that issuer during the year before the beginning of the audit. Accordingly, a staff accountant’s employment by the client does not impair independence. Such an individual does not have a continuing financial interest in the firm or the ability to influence its operations or policies.