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Internal Controls: More Than Safeguarding Assets

Braun David B. | April 24, 2003

For many companies, the mention of internal controls sets off a passionate discussion of the latest physical inventory or the recent establishment of an asset tracking system.

While safeguarding the company's assets is one element of internal controls, Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 has brought to the forefront a concept of internal control policies and procedures that was previously foreign to many public companies, especially smaller public companies.

Today, companies are realizing that internal controls are really about providing management and ultimately shareholders with reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial results and disclosures.

Such reliability can only be achieved by a self-analysis of the effectiveness and...

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