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Take Time to Convene the Audit Committee

Patricia Harned | January 27, 2009

It can’t be easy for compliance executives to talk with the audit committee these days. Just two quarters ago, many of you probably met with the committee to discuss conditions in a slowing economy, but nothing so dire as to leave boards alarmed or panicky.

Now, of course, the picture is radically different. Wall Street is in free fall, businesses of all stripes are suffering, and suddenly boards are worried about issues such as whether the outside auditors will slap a “going concern” warning on their report or whether fraud controls are effective with droves of the accounting department laid off.

How did we get here so fast? And for ethics and compliance officers, what are you supposed to tell boards as you meet in the eye of the storm?

Every Wall Street analyst, financial adviser, economist, and pundit has a different perspective of the economic horizon. Almost universally, however, they agree that we are in uncharted...

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