In order to assist audit committees meet their up-to-date oversight responsibilities on behalf of shareholders mandated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has published a "how-to" guide for audit committees, the AICPA Audit Committee Toolkit.
The Toolkit provides comprehensive advice on audit committee duties such as agenda-setting, conducting executive sessions and evaluating the effectiveness of auditors and the audit committee, itself. It also offers basic information on important topics such as internal controls, anti-fraud accountability and off-balance-sheets transactions.
“Good corporate governance practices should be a priority for all organizations no matter what their capital structure – publicly traded, privately-owned, not-for-profit, or other public interest organization,” adds Scott Voynich, AICPA Chairman.
John Morrow, author of the Toolkit and Vice President of AICPA’s New Finance, who is spearheading the Institute’s corporate governance initiatives and the leader for the more than 150,000 CPA members who practice the profession in business and industry, says the Toolkit will further prompt audit committees to ask the “tough” questions critical for a complete and in-depth audit. "In today's environment, audit committee members may find themselves thinking that the only dumb question is the one you don't ask," says Morrow.
The Toolkit is the most up to date resource for audit committees and is just one of an array of current and future resources available at AICPA’s new Audit Committee Center, www.aicpa.org/audcommctr/homepage.htm, the Institute’s web-based source for assisting audit committees in their enhanced role in the corporate governance process.
The Toolkit can be accessed at http://www.aicpa.org/Audcommctr/toolkits/homepage.htm The electronic version of the Toolkit is free of charge and available in Microsoft Word to allow customization to the needs of interested organizations.