PCAOB Issues New Guidance on Sarbanes-Oxley

Posted on Oct 29, 2013

The headlines may have caught the fact that the PCAOB, in an October 24th Staff Practice Alert: Considerations for Audits of Internal Control over Financial Reporting (ICFR) (PDF), reported a significant number of deficiencies in the work performed by the external auditors. (One of the better reviews is by AccountingWeb.) Although the reference to the number (15%) of engagements with key deficiencies is from a December 2012 report, the implication is that the issue remains today so the PCAOB has issued additional guidance to the firms. 

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Why Internal Audit Must Assess and Provide Assurance Over the Management of Risk

Posted on Oct 17, 2013

It is heartening to see more and more organizations requiring their internal audit departments to assess and provide an opinion on the effectiveness of risk management — or, using my preferred language, the management of risk by the organization. 

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Accenture Reports Good News for Risk Management but Misses a Key Point

Posted on Oct 13, 2013

Accenture’s 2013 Global Risk Management Study (PDF) starts with a great subtitle: “Risk management for an era of greater uncertainty.” I love this play on words: we live in uncertain times, and risk management is all about addressing the uncertainty between us and our objectives (as the esteemed Felix Kloman says, risk management helps us “pierce the fog of uncertainty”). As ISO 31000 tells us, risk is the effect of uncertainty on objectives. 

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Audit Committees Should Discipline the Auditors More Often

Posted on Oct 7, 2013

The audit committee of the board has oversight responsibilities for the external auditor: their appointment and compensation. With this comes the responsibility to ensure they perform a quality audit, and to fire them if they don’t. 

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