The Securities and Exchange Commission fined eight accounting firms US $140,000 in aggregate for using information from financial documents obtained from broker-dealer clients during audits to prepare their clients’ financial statements and notes. According to the SEC, this conduct violated SEC auditor independence rules by enabling the accounting firms to audit their own work. As a result, the accounting firms were not “independent” of their audit clients as required under applicable SEC rules. In addition to payment of fines, each accounting firm was required to establish written policies to provide “reasonable assurance” of compliance with their independence requirements.