Internal control over financial reporting

PwC: Internal audit has to play a more substantial role in information security

Most companies fail to adequately monitor and update their defenses against cybercriminals, raising the risk of costly data security breaches, according to PwC. Fortifying Your Defenses: The Role of Internal Audit in Assuring Data Security and Privacy, a PwC white paper, asserts that the increasing frequency and sophistication of hacker

Four steps to formalize internal audit’s strategic impact

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

Small business, big risk

Small businesses are significantly more likely than their larger counterparts to neglect instituting basic antifraud controls that could save them from costly losses, a recent worldwide survey shows. Organizations with fewer than 100 employees were significantly outpaced by larger organizations in every fraud control measured in the Association of Certified

Lawmakers reflect on Sarbanes-Oxley’s effect on corporate culture

Former U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes and former U.S. Rep. Michael Oxley say the regulations they sponsored and saw signed into law a decade ago are not perfect, but led to changes in the corporate culture in the United States and abroad. Sarbanes, a Maryland Democrat, and Oxley, an Ohio Republican,

SOX’s anniversary marked with congressional debate on benefits and costs

A U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on Thursday debated the benefits and costs of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX)—and a bill that would decrease its scope—as the corporate governance law approached its 10th anniversary. The House Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises heard sharply divided opinions from

Eight questions for a holistic risk assessment

Internal control has emerged from isolation. In recent years, according to an International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) report, internal control has come to be viewed as an integral part of risk management and governance rather than a separate concept unto itself. This integration demands that individual risks be assessed holistically

Updated COSO framework will help audit committees comply with SOX

The compliance revolution after the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) was accomplished in large part with the help of the internal control framework of the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO). COSO’s framework became part of a worldwide movement to enhance periodic accounting and

Corporate governance best practices 10 years after SOX

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

COSO sheds light on managing cloud risks

Management should begin control-related activities before an organization contracts with a cloud-computing service provider (CSP), according to guidance provided in a new thought paper released Wednesday by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO). The paper, Enterprise Risk Management for Cloud Computing, provides a thorough examination of

Going concern evaluations, auditor’s reporting model on the week’s agenda

Auditors’ going concern evaluations and the auditor’s reporting model project will be among the topics discussed Thursday at a meeting of the PCAOB’s Standing Advisory Group (SAG). Established in 2003 to advise the PCAOB on the development of standards, the SAG includes auditors, investors, public company executives, and others. The

What's your fraud IQ?

The inherent and evolving risks in the banking environment—especially concerning online transactions—command that account holders keep abreast of threats to their accounts, understand their rights and responsibilities as account holders, and take appropriate security measures to protect themselves from fraudulent bank account activity. Are you prepared to help your clients

COSO postpones release of internal control framework until 1Q 2013

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

AICPA seeks some changes to COSO’s updated framework proposal

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

CAQ seeks more transition guidance in updated internal control framework

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

Auditor’s reporting model proposal scheduled for third quarter

The PCAOB’s proposed changes to the auditor’s reporting model are on track to be issued for public comment in the third quarter of 2012, according to a standard-setting agenda the board released Monday. PCAOB Chairman James Doty said in December that he thought the proposal would be out by the

COSO explores common judgment traps, lays out five-step decision-making process

Many faulty business decisions can be traced to “confirmation bias” that leads people to unwittingly seek information that bolsters what they want to believe, says Brigham Young University accounting professor Doug Prawitt. “We don’t realize it when we do that, but it’s a very, very powerful human bias,” he said

Internal control, revisited

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

What's your fraud IQ?

Fraud in the form of corruption compromises the integrity of the world economy, stunting economic growth and causing political and social upheaval. To help combat corruption, Congress passed, and President Jimmy Carter signed, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in 1977. Recent, more rigorous enforcement of the FCPA, combined with

COSO Chair says updated framework is a ‘refresh’

The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) issued an exposure draft seeking comments on an updated internal control framework designed to help organizations perform with efficiency and confidence. COSO Chairman David Landsittel and the JofA discussed the updated framework, which keeps the same definitions, objectives and five

Management of "risk appetite" a necessity, paper says

In order to balance risks and opportunities, organizations must develop, communicate, monitor and update their “risk appetites,” according to a white paper released Friday by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO). Authored by University of Wisconsin-Madison accounting professor Larry Rittenberg and Frank Martens, a director in


Maximizing the higher education tax credits

A counterintuitive strategy can save taxes by including otherwise excludable scholarships in gross income.


Solving the lease accounting challenge

The challenges of the new lease accounting standard have been pervasive to say the least. In this free, independently-written report, you'll learn effective adoption strategies as well as resources for easing the transition to the new standard.