Does Lobbying for a company preclude auditor independence? E& Y dropped its lobbying services for three large U.S. companies following two Democratic U.S. Senators (Carl Levin, and Jack Reed) questioning this apparent conflict of interest. Ernst & Young has a lobbying unit called Washington Council Ernst & Young. SEC’s Chief Accountant, James Kroeker, speaking at Baruch College on Thursday, May 3rd seemed to suggest that lobbying and advocacy are synonymous and advocating and auditing do conflict. E&Y commented that the lobbying that was done was limited to tax-related issues as reported by Reuters. See the Reuters Article Here.