KPMG has announced the establishment of the 404 Institute, an open forum designed to inspire the exchange of ideas and the development of research, leading practices, and a range of activities related to meeting the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Section 404 of the Act calls for companies to meet key requirements for their internal financial reporting controls by November 2004.
"Sarbanes-Oxley represents among the most significant changes to financial reporting since the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Corporate America is investing hundreds of millions of dollars on Section 404 compliance," said Timothy P. Flynn, vice chair of KPMG's Audit and Risk Advisory Services. "The 404 Institute will create forums to help organizations leverage their current and future investments in internal controls, ultimately driving operating efficiencies and enhancing the transparency of financial reporting."
"These new open forums offer a platform for organizations and shareholders to learn about the 404 journey, share leading practices, and candidly discuss ways to address the evolution of effective internal controls," said Flynn. "We're inviting all parties with a stake in the integrity of the financial reporting process to become active participants in the dialogue, with an eye toward developing white papers, case studies, and important academic and professional research about Section 404."
Flynn noted that the Institute's discussions and research can be used to provide education and outreach to the investing public regarding Section 404 reporting. The 404 Institute will lead and facilitate topical discussions, seminars, conferences, forums, academic research, and thought leadership. The venues will enable audit committee members, senior executives, internal auditors, external auditors, technology infrastructure providers, those with process and advisory experience, and academic researchers to refine their thinking on the issues.
"We envision that the 404 Institute's mission of facilitating dialogue among key constituents will help drive the education and implementation of Section 404," Flynn added. "In addition, through wide, multi-sector collaboration, the Institute will surface viable new ideas that may help evolve and improve the financial reporting process."
An advisory council to include corporate and industry executives, as well as representatives from universities and business schools, will help establish the Institute's priorities and provide oversight for its activities.
The 404 Institute can be reached at www.404Institute.com.