The audit committee handbook
Over the past decade, the number of companies with audit committees has increased dramatically. The scope of these committees' power and responsibility has expanded, as recommended by the 1987 National Commission on Fraudulent Financial Reporting. All of the major stock exchanges now require their listed companies to maintain audit committees, and all but small insured depository institutions are now required by the federal government to have audit committees. The new emphasis on audit committees has made committee members liable for the effective fiscal governance of corporations. In addition, the rapid growth of and the liability now placed on these committees have left them vulnerable to the criticism that committee members do not fully understand their duties and responsibilities.
The Audit Committee Handbook is a complete revision of what was once entitled The Audit Director's Guide. This Handbook offers comprehensive guidance to all functions, duties, and responsibilities of audit committee members as well as their directors. It reflects recent changes in law and accepted practice and provides a complete survey of the relevant literature, and recent developments in the field including: the Report of the National Commission on Fraudulent Business Practices; the FDIC Improvement Act of 1991, changes in accounting standards and pronouncements by the FASB, AICPA, SEC, and the Institute of Internal Auditors, and a review of criticism and litigation resulting from business failures.
Conveniently organized into four parts for easy reference, the Handbook begins with an overview of the audit committee's functions and responsibilities, then moves on to detailed discussions of its three main functions: planning an audit, monitoring and supervising an audit, and reporting audit findings to the board of directors. Extensive appendixes include a glossary, a historical overview of audit committees, and relevant excerpts from all major legislation and professional guidelines and codes of ethics dealing with the function of the audit committee and the internal auditing process.
For accountants, financial officers, CEOs, managers and auditors, it offers insights into the purpose and function of the audit committee and practical guidelines for developing a productive relationship with the audit committee. For all, the main thrust of this book is to maximize the effectiveness of the audit committee and thus bolster stockholder confidence in the internal auditing process.
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