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Rules of the Road for Internal Controls Attestations

Romanek Broc | April 24, 2003

Even though standards or deadlines are not yet mandated, many companies are spending inordinate amounts of time — or should be — beefing up their internal controls. Much of this activity is at the prodding of the independent auditors, whose attestation fees are often estimated at a level at least as high as the current audit fees.

[As an aside, many companies are being approached by their auditors to do internal controls remediation work. Most companies are concluding that the independence rules are not clear enough to permit this. These companies also are wary of paying additional non-audit fees to their auditors for investor relations' purposes.]

Closer Than You Think

Section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley requires that the SEC adopt rules regarding internal controls attestations. Unlike many other provisions, Section 404 does not impose a deadline on the SEC. However, the SEC staff is determined to adopt rules so that they apply to...

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