Tensions over the audit of internal controls over financial reporting were in focus at the Compliance Week 2015 conference last week, with many saying corporate audit committees will ultimately need to resolve the problem. “We hear the concerns, even frustrations, from company officials over the level of audit work they are seeing,” said Keith Wilson, deputy chief auditor at the PCAOB. Some ideas on how to reduce tensions are inside.
Compliance officers do not have much confidence in their companies’ financial controls to catch books-and-records violations of the FCPA, according to a new report published by Compliance Week and Kroll. The finding was one of many included in the 2015 Anti-Bribery & Corruption Report, looking at all manner of anti-corruption compliance efforts. More details inside.
A compliance mishap in a company can feel like a professional failure to chief compliance officers; a more urgent question is whether it might also bring professional liability. At Compliance Week 2015, enforcement officials with the SEC and Justice Department, as well as compliance professionals themselves, explored how CCOs can protect themselves from such risk. “We’re not out there looking to make examples of compliance officers,” Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said. More inside.
Whether you adopted the new COSO framework for internal control last year or stalled into 2015, a chorus of voices say now is the time for implementation (or even polishing last year’s implementation) once and for all. “This year is the time to adopt,” says KPMG partner David Middendorf. Inside, a look at where to focus your efforts and what’s likely to trip you up.
More and more evidence suggests compliance officers are now sitting alongside other senior corporate leaders at their organizations—so now they need to exercise that leadership role properly. That was the discussion at Compliance Week 2015, and we have all the insights inside. “More compliance officers are being asked for a leadership vision,” said Janice Innis-Thompson, chief compliance and ethics officer for TIAA-CREF. “They are expected to move the company ahead.”
Simplicity in accounting is always a great idea, yet complexity always seems to be intruding into reality. This week, Compliance Week columnist Scott Taub tries to deconstruct why complexity endures, and why we may even see it creep into the ostensibly simplified new rule for revenue recognition. “Despite 10 years of focusing on complexity,” he writes, “we’re still dealing with the same underlying causes.”
Every executive knows that what gets measured gets done; the trick for compliance and audit executives is to assure that the metrics you use don’t lead employees to do something reckless. This week, columnist Jose Tabuena looks at the risks of incentives: where they can go wrong, how to help executives design metrics and incentives that encourage compliance, and what audit procedures can help you confirm the incentives you have actually work.