The AICPA launches its “audit committee matching system” (ACMS) to foster better communication between Institute members and companies (both public and privately held), not-for-profit entities and other organizations in need of candidates qualified to serve on their boards of directors and audit committees. The ACMS, part of a comprehensive Institute program to support audit committee effectiveness in corporate governance, responds to the increased responsibilities—for example, to have financial expertise—the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and related SEC rules placed on such committees. Members willing to contribute to this effort their knowledge of finance, commitment to the profession’s code of ethics and business processes proficiency can provide information on their background and qualifications by registering with the ACMS at http://acms.aicpa.org/login.asp . As part of its effort to assist audit committees in fulfilling their role, the AICPA also is developing a practical tool kit for members serving on such committees and a competency model for assessing the necessary related skills and knowledge.
The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) approves a registration system for use by public accounting firms ( www.pcaobus.org/rules/Release2003-007.pdf ). Section 102 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act prohibits accounting firms not registered with the board from preparing or issuing audit reports on U.S. public companies and from participating in such audits. To perform these functions, all U.S. public accounting firms must register by October 22, 2003. In recognition of special considerations—such as registration-required disclosure that would violate foreign confidentiality and privacy laws—the board is giving nondomestic firms until April 19, 2004, to register if they wish to render such services to U.S. public companies. Before the registration system can take effect, however, the SEC must approve it. The board’s action follows a public comment period during which the AICPA SEC practice section ( www.aicpa.org/download/sarbanes/AICPA ) and others responded.