On September 19, the SEC announced that it had reached an agreement with a big four accounting firm regarding employee relationships with its auditing clients that violated rules designed to ensure objectivity and impartiality. The accounting firm agreed to pay approximately $4.8 million and $3.3 million in disgorgement, along with civil penalties of $1.2 million and $1 million respectively. In addition, the individual partners involved paid civil penalties of $45,000 and $25,000. Andrew Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, indicated that these actions are the SEC’s first to address “auditor independence failures due to close personal relationships between auditors and client personnel.”