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2006.09.23

2006.09.19 House Committee on Financial Services >Hearing entitled "Sarbanes-Oxley at Four: Protecting Investors and Strengthening the Markets."

 こんにちは、丸山満彦です。2006.09.19のUS House of Representatives' Committee on Financial Servicesのtestimonyが公表されていますが、興味深いですね。

 
US House of Representatives' Committee on Financial Services
Hearings
・・2006.09.19 Hearing entitled "Sarbanes-Oxley at Four: Protecting Investors and Strengthening the Markets."

Testimony
The Honorable Christopher Cox, Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission
The Honorable Mark W. Olson, Chairman, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board

興味深いのは、PCAOBのOlson委員長の証言で以下の部分ですかね・・・特にFirstの部分・・・

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C. The PCAOB Intends to Continue to Improve Implementation of the Act’s Internal Control Reporting Requirements, Including Eliminating Any Procedures That Are Unnecessary to Achieve the Intended Benefits.

1. The Board Will Soon Consider Changes to Its Standard, to Promote Efficiency and Eliminate Unnecessary Procedures.

First, the PCAOB is critically evaluating every area of the audit to determine whether the existing standard encourages auditors to perform procedures that are not necessary to achieve the intended benefits of the audit. In particular, the Board plans to consider eliminating any suggestion that auditors need to evaluate the process that a company uses to reach its conclusion about the effectiveness of company controls. Instead, auditors’ work would clearly be limited to evaluating whether, in the auditor’s opinion, the company’s internal control is designed and operating effectively, without intruding on management’s process to reach its conclusion. Also, the Board plans to propose permitting auditors to reduce their work after the first year, if controls have not changed from year to year.

Second, the Board plans to propose changes to make the standard simpler to read, easier to understand and more clearly scalable to companies of any size. To do so, the Board is considering reduction in detail in a number of areas, as well as re-articulation of some complex definitions and other concepts that have unintentionally caused auditors and managers unnecessary time to learn and apply. At the same time, by emphasizing core principles, the new proposal is expected to focus auditors on the importance of identifying material weaknesses prior to an actual misstatement occurring, which should greatly benefit investors and restore further confidence in the audit profession.

Third, the Board plans to propose changes that would make explicit in the standard the Board’s past guidance on how to make internal control audits as efficient as possible. While this guidance has been in place for some time already, we have heard from auditors and others that improvements in efficiency would likely result from incorporating that guidance into actual rule text.

Fourth, in order to focus auditors on what really matters, which is identifying material weaknesses in a company’s system of internal control before those weaknesses result in material misstatements in the company’s published financial statements, the proposal should emphasize the importance of a company’s control environment, and how it can impact the risk of financial reporting fraud or other material failure. It should also emphasize higher risk stages of financial statement preparation, such as the period-end close process that, when overridden by aggressive managers seeking to appear to meet market targets, has provided the opportunity for so many financial frauds in the past. To the extent the Board’s standard can provide more insight into how auditors should identify these risks and weaknesses, it will better serve investors.
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