I was very troubled by the title and tone of the article, “ Management Is Responsible, Too ” ( JofA , Apr.03, page 53). The article set the tone when it said the management guidance document included with SAS no. 99 “challenges corporate management to be equal partners with auditors in creating an environment that neither condones, nor is conducive to, the existence of illegal activities.”
Auditors are not in any way responsible for creating an environment in a corporation. That responsibility rests entirely with the client’s board, audit committee and management. It’s bad enough that the plaintiffs’ bar works so hard to make auditors responsible for the problems that arise at client corporations. We in the accounting profession should not fall into the trap of reinforcing the efforts of the plaintiffs’ bar.
James L. Coogan, CPA