Grant Thornton LLP, the nation's fifth largest accounting and business advisory firm and one of the seven global accounting organizations, announced that it will not provide a number of services for its public audit clients that it believes is in keeping with the intent of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
"Just as we believe that the accounting industry should accept a principles versus rules based approach to accounting, we believe the same should be the case in adhering to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act," said Grant Thornton CEO Ed Nusbaum. "There are areas in the legislation that are clear, and some that might be interpreted differently by others. But the guide in gray areas should be the spirit of reform and protection of investors that the bill's authors intended.
"For this reason we will not accept engagements to document our public audit clients' internal controls, including documenting existing controls, or perform evaluations of existing controls that management uses to support their conclusions regarding the effective design of those controls. If management needs assistance in documenting their internal controls, we will inform them of other options that are available."
Also, consistent with the requirements of the act, Grant Thornton will not provide the following services to its public audit clients:
- Design controls
- Design or implement processes, controls or information systems that impact the financial reporting process
- Provide Grant Thornton auditor internal control software package to our public audit clients
- Grant Thornton will attest to, and report on, management's assessment of internal controls of its public audit clients under Section 404 of the Act, and will continue to provide a wide array of internal controls services for public companies that are not audit clients.
Grant Thornton Press Release