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Opinions and views from expert CFOZone members.

Tag >> internal controls
Dec 17

Sustainability policies: size matters

Posted by Stephen Taub in The Canadian Institute of Chartered AccountantsSustainabilityinternal controlscomplianceCIMACICAChartered Institute of Management AccountantsAICPA

Stephen Taub

Larger companies are much more likely to have a formal sustainability strategy than smaller companies. But, the number one reason both groups have a policy in place is because they are required to have one.

In addition, US-based companies in general lag their global peers when it comes to treating sustainability issues in general.

Nov 22

Surge in restatements, material weaknesses

Posted by Stephen Taub in Section 404Sarbanes-OxleyRiskrestatementsRegulationmaterial weaknessinternal controlsGlass LewiscomplianceAccounting

Stephen Taub

The number of financial reporting issues is on the rise this year, exceeding multi-year lows set last year.

In the first nine months of 2010, about 20 percent more companies filed restatements to correct accounting errors or reported internal-control weaknesses than in the first three quarters of 2009, according to a new study published by Glass Lewis.

Aug 31

Judge tosses shareholder suit against VeriFone

Posted by Stephen Taub in restatementslawyerslawsuitsinternal controlscompliance

Stephen Taub

It is a reflexive action, almost seemingly involuntary.

A company restates prior results for some reason. Investors then dump the stock, which in turn plummets in price.

Aug 04

GAO warns on internal controls of US financial reports

Posted by Stephen Taub in Office of Management and Budgetinternal controlsGovernment Accountability Officegenerally accepted accounting principlesGAODepartment of Treasurycomplianceaudit

Stephen Taub

It looks like the folks who brought us Sarbanes-Oxley need a dose of the governance and accounting rules themselves.

A new US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report concluded that improvements are needed in controls over the preparation of the US consolidated financial statements.

Jun 30

Why the spirit of SarbOx will survive continued attack

Posted by dbedell in SarbOxSarbanes-OxleyRiskPCAOBinternal controlsinternal auditIn compliancecontrol


With the Supreme Court ruling to uphold most of SarbOx, and compliance costs decreasing, policymakers and their opponents continue to fight over the relative value of the legislation that first came into effect in 2002. But it may be a non-issue. Even as opponents of SarbOx continued to push for it to be overturned in the run-up to the Supreme Court ruling, it had already become an expected and integral part of the corporate internal audit process.

One lawyer who spoke with CFOZone before the ruling was announced noted that no client has asked him how they could backtrack on controls and other compliance requirements if SarbOx was overturned. Investors now expect that companies will be SarbOx compliant, and in the current environment of compliance conservatism, even if companies could reduce their internal audit requirements under SarbOx, few if any would.

Jun 28

Internal auditors must surpass Sarbanes-Oxley

Posted by dbedell in Sarbanes-OxleyRiskinternal controlsinternal auditcomplianceauditors


Since the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation first came into effect seven years ago, much has changed in the US corporate landscape. At first, the new laws appeared onerous—time consuming and perhaps just a little bit of overkill. Since then, the global financial crisis occurred—putting much greater focus on internal audit, control and corporate accountability.

That focus was pushed from within companies themselves, not just from regulators or legislators, which may be why companies are coming to appreciate the benefits of Sarbanes-Oxley—at least according to a survey by global risk and business consultants Protiviti. In fact, companies report that Sarbanes-Oxley does not go far enough in having companies assess and audit risk.

May 10

Serial Restater: Five revisions in seven years

Posted by Stephen Taub in restatementsmaterial weaknessinternal controlsFAS 133complianceAccounting

Stephen Taub

Is there anyone at Telephone and Data Systems and its United States Cellular unit who can get their financials right the first time around?

Last week the telecom companies announced that they planned to revise prior results dating back to 2007.

May 04

Financial reporting issues surge

Posted by Stephen Taub in Section 404Sarbanes-Oxleyrestatementsmaterial weaknessinternal controlsGlass Lewisexpense recognition errorscomplianceAccounting

Stephen Taub

Are companies become more lax with their accounting practices? It seems so.

According to an analysis of first quarter regulatory filings, Glass, Lewis found a surge in financial-reporting issues, a sharp reversal from recent trends.

Feb 17

The plight of the auditor

Posted by Going Concern in whistleblowerscandalsRiskinternal controlscontrollerscomplianceCFOsaudit

Going Concern

Submitted by Francine McKenna, republished from Going Concern, Accounting News for Accountants and CFOs.

Do external auditors have a duty to detect fraud? How about the internal auditors? What price do internal auditors and other compliance employees pay for following up on suspicions of fraudulent or unethical activity?

These are two of the most contentious questions I write about. We've seen the debate over fraud detection by external auditors in the Koss, Overstock, Satyam, Huron, and Madoff feeder funds cases.

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