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Discussions to Expect From the Independent Auditors

By Jose Scott,2014-05-16 01:35
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Discussions to Expect From the Independent Auditors

    Resources for Audit Committees

    Purpose of This Tool. Audit committees can take advantage of the Internet and find a wealth of resources to assist them in discharging their responsibilities. This Tool provides an overview of

    organizations and Web sites that contain topical resources for audit committee members to

    investigate.

Below is a sampling of organizations and Web sites that can assist audit committee members in

    learning more about government accountability and their roles, responsibilities, and functions.

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants www.aicpa.org

    The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is the national professional

    association for all certified public accountants. This includes CPAs working as independent

    auditors, accountants, or consultants in public practice, business and industry (CFOs, controllers,

    internal auditors, etc.), government, not-for-profit organization, and the academic community.

    The AICPA has developed this Government Audit Committee Toolkit to aid audit committee

    members in performing their functions. In addition, the AICPA produces publications on

    accounting and auditing, financial reporting, tax, technology, and many other relevant topics.

    Some additional online resources useful to audit committees include:

    ? Audit Committee Effectiveness Center at www.aicpa.org/audcommctr

    ? Antifraud and Corporate Responsibility Resource Center at www.aicpa.org/antifraud

    ? Sarbanes-Oxley Implementation Central at www.aicpa.org/sarbanes/index.asp

Association of Certified Fraud Examiners www.cfenet.com

    The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) is a global professional organization

    dedicated to fighting fraud and white-collar crime. With chapters around the globe, the ACFE is

    networked to respond to the needs of antifraud professionals everywhere. They offer guidance

    on fraud prevention, detection, and investigation, as well as internal controls.

Association of Government Accountants www.agacgfm.org

    The Association of Government Accountants (AGA) is an educational organization dedicated to

    enhancing public financial management. AGA serves the professional interests of financial

    managers, from local, state and federal governments, as well as public accounting firms,

    responsible for effectively using billions of dollars and other monetary resources every day.

    AGA conducts independent research and analysis of all aspects of government financial

    management, for the purpose of advocating the improvement in the quality and effectiveness of

    government fiscal administration.

    Copyright ? 2005 AICPA, Inc. 1

AICPA Audit Committee Toolkit: Government

Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission www.coso.org

    Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) is a voluntary

    private-sector organization dedicated to improving the quality of financial reporting through

    business ethics, effective internal controls, and corporate governance. Originally formed in 1985

    to sponsor the National Commission on Fraudulent Financial Reporting, COSO has released

    numerous influential publications, including Internal ControlIntegrated Framework.

    Ethics Officers Association www.eoa.org The Ethics Officers Association (EOA) is the professional association exclusively for managers

    of ethics, compliance, and business conduct programs. The EOA provides ethics officers with

    training and a variety of conferences and meetings for exchanging best practices in a frank,

    candid manner.

    Ethics Resources Center www.ethics.org The Ethics Resources Center (ERC) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization whose

    vision is a world in which individuals and organizations act with integrity. Their mission is to

    strengthen ethical leadership worldwide by providing leading-edge expertise and services

    through research, education and partnerships. Especially useful are their resources on business

    and organizational ethics.

Government Finance Officers Association www.gfoa.org

    The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) serves the state, provincial, and local

    finance officers in the United States and Canada and is dedicated to the sound management of

    government financial resources. GFOA administers a broad range of services and programs in

    the major functional areas of government financial management, including accounting, auditing,

    and financial reporting; budgeting and financial planning; capital finance and debt administration;

    cash management and investments; and financial management. Guidance, publications, and

    programs are available from the GFOA Web site.

Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) www.theiia.org

    The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) is a dynamic international organization that meets the

    needs of a worldwide body of internal auditors. IIA focuses on issues in internal auditing,

    governance and internal control, information technology (IT) audit, education, and security

    worldwide. The Institute provides internal audit practitioners, executive management, boards of

    directors and audit committees with standards, guidance, best practices, training, research, and

    technological guidance for the profession.

Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) www.imanet.org

    The IMA is a professional organization devoted to management accounting and financial

    management. Its goals are to help members develop both personally and professionally, by

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    Resources for Audit Committees means of education, certification, and association with other business professionals. A respected

    leader within the global financial community, the IMA influences the concepts and ethical

    practices in management accounting and financial management. Its ethical standards provide

    guidance to practitioners for maintaining the highest levels of ethical conduct.

IT Governance Institute www.itgi.org

    Established by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association and Foundation (ISACA)

    in 1998, the IT Governance Institute (ITGI) exists to assist enterprise leaders in understanding

    and guiding the role of IT in their organizations. ITGI helps senior executives to ensure that IT

    goals align with those of the business, deliver value, and perform efficiently, while IT resources

    are properly allocated and its risks mitigated. Through original research, symposia, and

    electronic resources, ITGI helps ensure that boards and executive management have the tools and

    information they effectively manage the IT function.

    National Association of College and University Business Officers www.nacubo.org The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) represents

    college and university administrative and financial officers through a collaboration of knowledge

    and professional development, advocacy, and community to establish excellence in higher

    education business and financial management. NACUBO’s web site includes tools, publications, and guidance for college and university financial management, including guidance on how

    colleges and universities might implement relevant portions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act as a best

    practice.

    National Association of Local Government Auditors www.nalga.org Among the primary objectives of the National Association of Local Government Auditors

    Association (NALGA) is improving the quality of auditing in local government, providing a

    forum for the discussion of issues concerning auditing in local government, and upholding the

    highest standards of professional ethics. NALGA provides information, guidance, and

    opportunities for local government auditors about audit standards, related training, peer reviews,

    and other audit issues.

National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers www.nasact.org

    The National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers (NASACT) is an

    organization for state officials who work in the financial management of state government.

    NASACT assists state leaders enhance and promote effective and efficient management of

    government resources. NASACT’s web site provides information regarding, among other things,

    efforts to improve financial management practices at all levels of government, shares expertise

    and ideas that promote effective financial management, and develops and promotes an exchange 3

    of industry best practices.

AICPA Audit Committee Toolkit: Government

U.S. Government Accountability Office www.gao.gov

    The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that

    works for Congress. With its core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability, ultimately,

    GAO works to ensure that government is accountable to the American people. GAO issues

    Government Auditing Standards (also known as the Yellow Book), which contains standards for

    audits of government organizations, programs, activities, and functions. These standards, often

    referred to as generally accepted government auditing standards (GAGAS), are to be followed by

    public accounting firms and audit organizations that audit governments and not-for-profit

    organizations when required by law, regulation, agreement, contract, or policy.

U.S. Office of Management and Budget www.whitehouse.gov/omb/index.html

    The U.S. Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) mission is to assist the President in

    overseeing the preparation of the federal budget; to supervise its administration in Executive

    Branch agencies; and coordinate the Administration's procurement, financial management,

    information, and regulatory policies. In each of these areas, OMB's role is to help improve

    administrative management and, therefore, has an impact on all levels of government. State,

    local, and special-purpose governments are required to follow OMB’s financial management rules and guidance if they receive federal program monies either directly or indirectly. The OMB

    web site includes information about these rules and guidance for those charged with

    responsibility for a government’s compliance with financial management laws and regulations.

Resources for Corporate Governance and Publicly Traded Company Audit Committees

    Many organizations provide information, tools, and publications about corporate governance and

    audit committees for publicly traded companies that must follow the requirements of the

    Sarbanes Oxley Act. Although government organizations are not subject to the requirements of

    the Sarbanes Oxley Act, the following Web sites may provide government audit committees with

    additional information that could be applied in their environments as best practices.

American Society of Corporate Secretaries www.acsc.org

    The American Society of Corporate Secretaries (ASCS) acts as a positive force for enlightened

    corporate governance whose key mission is to promote excellence in corporate governance. The

    members of the ASCS address issues of public disclosure under the securities laws and matters

    affecting corporate governance, including the structure and meetings of the board of directors

    and its committees, and the proxy process and the annual meeting of shareholders and

    shareholder relations, particularly with large institutional owners.

    Business Roundtable www.brtable.org The Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers (CEOs) of leading

    U.S. corporations. The BRT is committed to advocating public policies that foster vigorous

    economic growth, a dynamic global economy, and a well-trained and productive U.S. workforce

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    Resources for Audit Committees

    essential for future competitiveness. The BRT’s Corporate Governance Task Force focuses on

    issues related to corporate governance and responsibilities, including accounting standards

    Conference Board www.conference-board.com The Conference Board is a global, independent membership organization that creates and

    disseminates knowledge about management and the marketplace to help businesses strengthen

    their performance and better serve society. They conduct research, convene conferences, make

    forecasts, assess trends, publish information and analysis, and bring executives together to learn

    from one another. The Conference Board's Blue-Ribbon Commission on Public Trust and

    Private Enterprise has proposed reforms to strengthen corporate compensation practices and help

    restore trust in America's corporations and capital markets.

Corporate Board Member www.boardmember.com

    Corporate Board Member magazine’s Web site, Boardmember.com, serves as a central resource

    for officers and directors of publicly traded corporations, top private companies, and Global

    1000 firms. The Resource Center offers the full-text of Corporate Board Member magazine, as

    well as additional articles, webcasts, and interviews. Topics include corporate governance,

    strategic board trends and issues, executive and director compensation, audit committees, risk

    management, international and technology trends, investor relations, board education, and other

    critical topics facing today's directors and officers of publicly traded companies. They also offer

    conferences, director training programs, roundtables, an extensive database, and timely research.

Financial Executives International www.fei.org

    Financial Executives International (FEI) is a professional association for senior level financial

    executives including chief financial officers, vice presidents of finance, controllers, treasurers,

    and tax executives. FEI provides peer networking opportunities, emerging issues alerts, and

    personal and professional development and advocacy services.

Harvard Business School’s Corporate Governance, Leadership & Values www.cglv.hbs.edu

    Harvard Business School’s Corporate Governance, Leadership & Values Web site is a comprehensive overview of research, educational programs, and other activities at Harvard

    Business School aimed at providing new frameworks for thought and practice in the interrelated

    areas of corporate governance, leadership, and values. It includes links to the ongoing workshop

    series; background papers; research programs, such as the corporate governance initiative;

    executive education programs; viewpoints on key issues published in the national press; faculty

    comments in the media; and an online forum for exchanging views on emerging issues.

National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) www.nacdonline.org 5

    Founded in 1977, the NACD is the premier educational, publishing, and consulting organization

    in board leadership and the only membership association for boards, directors, director-

AICPA Audit Committee Toolkit: Government

    candidates, and board advisers. The NACD promotes high professional board standards, creates forums for peer interaction, enhances director effectiveness, asserts the policy interests of directors, conducts research, and educates boards and directors concerning traditional and cutting-edge issues.

New York Stock Exchange www.nyse.com

    The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is a not-for-profit corporation that provides a self-regulated marketplace for the trading of financial instruments. Its goal is to add value to the capital-raising and asset-management process by providing the highest quality and most cost-effective trading environment. They work to promote confidence in and understanding of the financial trading process and serve as a forum for the discussion of relevant national and international policy issues. They have taken a leadership role in corporate governance issues through their participation in the Blue Ribbon Committee on Improving the Effectiveness of Corporate Audit Committees and more recently in their formation of the NYSE Corporate Responsibility and Listing Standards Committee.

The Corporate Library www.thecorporatelibrary.com

    The Corporate Library serves as a central repository for research, study, and critical thinking about the nature of the modern global corporation, with a special focus on corporate governance and the relationship between company management, boards, and shareholders. Most general content on the site is open to visitors at no cost; advanced research relating to specific companies and certain other advanced features are restricted to subscribers only.

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