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1. Ingredients of an effective audit committee   WebExclusive

BY Samantha White
The audit committee is a fundamental part of the corporate governance structure. But with changing demands being placed on it, what steps can companies take to ensure that the committee effectively safeguards stakeholders? A popular panel at the 2014 World Congress of Accountants in Rome explored the issue.

2. More transparency sought from audit committees   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
A consortium of U.S. governance organizations is calling on public company audit committees to enhance reporting about their activities.Increasing transparency about the audit committee’s roles and responsibilities could increase investor confidence, according to the organizations’ new Enhancing the Audit Committee Report: A Call to Action.The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ), which is affiliated with the AICPA, is an author of the report.

3. Internal audit oversight  

BY Richard J. Anderson, CPA and J. Christopher Svare
One of an audit committee’s most important responsibilities is to oversee the organization’s internal audit function. Here are 10 steps audit committees can take to facilitate proper oversight and direction of internal audit: Evaluate the current and projected scope of internal audit coverage of risk management and governance.

4. 8 steps to update internal control   WebExclusive

BY Doug Prawitt, CPA, Ph.D. and Ken Tysiac
Here is how organizations can implement the newly updated, principles-based internal control framework of the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO), which was released May 14 (visit ic.coso.org). The original 1992 framework has been sharpened and refreshed to reflect the current business environment. Create a team and a plan.

5. Key factors cited as discussion of audit quality indicators nears   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
An effective definition of audit quality should encompass two key factors, the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) told the PCAOB in a comment letter dated May 13. The CAQ, which is affiliated with the AICPA, has been working over the past several months to develop perspectives that could help define audit quality and how relevant audit quality indicators can be identified.

6. How audit committees can meet risk management oversight challenges   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Risk management oversight is one of the most challenging areas for audit committees across the globe, according to a new report issued Tuesday by the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ), the Federation of European Accountants (FEE), and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA). The report summarizes the results of round-table discussions in Brussels, Hong Kong, and New York City.

7. SEC approves PCAOB standard on communication with audit committees   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
The SEC has approved PCAOB Auditing Standard No. 16, Communications with Audit Committees, and related amendments to PCAOB standards that were designed to help external auditors communicate effectively with audit committees during public company audits. All U.S. public companies, including emerging growth companies as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, will be required to comply with the standard.

8. New tool aids in evaluation of external auditors   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
With interactions between audit committees and external auditors a focus of a steady stream of news recently, a new tool has been developed to assist audit committees in annual evaluations of external auditors. The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ), which is affiliated with the AICPA, is one of seven organizations that helped develop the tool.

9. CAQ releases practice aid on audit communication   WebExclusive

BY Neil Amato
How should audit firms and audit committees be talking to each other? The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) examines the question in a brief guide released Wednesday on ways to enhance the flow of information on audit inspections and quality-control matters. The CAQ practice aid says that “transparent, candid communication … supports the audit committee’s role in overseeing the external auditor.” The practice aid says the CAQ supports interaction that is consistent with the objectives of the PCAOB’s August 2012 Release No.

10. PCAOB adopts rules on communication between audit committees, external auditors   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
A new auditing standard approved unanimously Wednesday by the PCAOB is designed to encourage two-way, effective communication between external auditors and audit committees during public company audits. With the aim of improving audit quality, the PCAOB approved Auditing Standard (AS) No. 16, Communications With Audit Committees, and amendments to other PCAOB standards.
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