Internal Controls


Despite making progress in safeguarding sensitive or confidential information, the SEC still lacks consistency in implementing key data controls, the GAO said in its annual audit released in April. Information security control weaknesses identified included 13 that remained unresolved from the previous year’s audit, plus 15 new ones, the GAO said. They included insufficient testing and evaluation of controls for a major data system as required by a certification and accreditation process, as well as inconsistent implementation of policies and procedures, including parts of the SEC’s information-security program.

The SEC had corrected 58 of the 71 weaknesses identified in 2005, the GAO noted, and by the completion of its 2006 audit had taken action on 11 of the newly identified faults. But the commission had not adequately guarded identification and authentication of users of data systems, leaving critical information in some instances vulnerable to hacking or unauthorized use or modification, the GAO said. For instance, requests for new or upgraded access to the EDGAR company financial reporting system weren’t always properly reviewed, and records of user privileges didn’t always reflect current information about users’ roles within the SEC.

SPONSORED REPORT

Keeping client information safe in an age of scams and security threats

A look at the Dirty Dozen tax scams and ways to protect taxpayer information.

TECHNOLOGY Q&A

How to create maps in Excel 2016

Microsoft Excel 2016 has two new mapping capabilities. J. Carlton Collins, CPA, demonstrates how to make masterful 2D and 3D maps in Excel 2016.

QUIZ

News quiz: IRS enforcement, a hot job, and audit value

The IRS’s 2016 Data Book, a “hot job” of particular interest at this time of year, and insight into how executive and audit committees view the insights from financial statement audits received attention recently. See how much you know with this short quiz.