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1. GAO advises SEC to require disclosure of auditor attestation of ICFR   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is recommending that the SEC consider requiring public companies to disclose whether they obtained an auditor attestation of their internal controls over financial reporting (ICFR). In a report to congressional committees, the GAO said attestation reports increase investor confidence. Requiring disclosure of whether a company voluntarily included an attestation report in its annual report would increase transparency for investors, according to the GAO.

2. PCAOB finds common threads in ICFR audit deficiencies   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Insufficient testing of controls and failure to properly evaluate control deficiencies were among the common findings that led the PCAOB to issue a summary of observations from 2010 inspections of audits of internal control over financial reporting. The PCAOB on Monday released a 31-page report on deficiencies in firms’ audits of internal control over financial reporting.

3. PCAOB will issue report on problems with audits of ICFR   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Persistent problems related to audits of internal control over financial reporting (ICFR) have led the PCAOB to issue a report describing the four problems. The PCAOB will issue a Rule 4010 report to describe the results of recent inspections with regard to audits of ICFR, PCAOB Director of Registration and Inspections Helen Munter said Wednesday at the AICPA Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments in Washington.

4. COSO proposals give real-world internal control examples   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
News reports show the frightening weather satellite images of a hurricane that’s causing concern for leaders of an automobile manufacturing plant. The possible effects on the supply chain as the storm approaches one of the company’s suppliers seem obvious. The problems this could cause for internal control over the company’s financial statements are less apparent.

5. Four steps to formalize internal audit’s strategic impact   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Internal audit isn’t just about compliance anymore. Increasingly, the function’s role is being incorporated into the broader business strategy – from mulling over major capital projects to advising on mergers and acquisitions. But executives say they need to do a better job of formally describing the role internal auditors will play in charting the course of the business.

6. Corporate governance best practices 10 years after SOX   CPEDirect

BY Ken Tysiac
You could hardly go to a Washington hearing related to an accounting or auditing issue this spring without someone singing the praises of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX). At a House subcommittee meeting on accounting and auditing oversight, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., said SOX has been successful in preventing some of the challenges it was created to address.

7. COSO postpones release of internal control framework until 1Q 2013   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
After receiving extensive feedback, the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) announced Monday that it expects to delay the release of its updated internal control framework until the first quarter of 2013. That’s a slightly later debut than COSO predicted for the framework in December, when it first released the proposed update of its Internal Control—Integrated Framework for public comment.

8. AICPA seeks some changes to COSO’s updated framework proposal   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
The AICPA is suggesting changes to the proposed, updated internal control framework of the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO). In a comment letter, the AICPA wrote that the framework will be a valuable resource for practitioners. But the AICPA also described concerns, some of which are similar to those mentioned in the comment letter of the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ), which is affiliated with the AICPA.

9. CAQ seeks more transition guidance in updated internal control framework   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) would like the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) to provide more transition guidance for users implementing COSO’s updated internal control framework. COSO is updating its 20-year-old internal control framework to provide a fresh, modern approach with explicit advice and implementation guidance.

10. Internal control, revisited   CPEDirect

BY Ken Tysiac
For about 20 years, the popular internal control framework of the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) has been like a favorite tool in a craftsman’s shop. Its guidance has held up over time with original components that have been so sound that a large majority of more than 700 stakeholders surveyed supported updating the original 1992 framework, but not conducting a major overhaul.
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