Over the years, COSO has made forays with limited success into new territory, like enterprise risk management. But its bread and butter is still its internal controls framework, which remains an old chestnut in the corporate world. It has been used for so long by so many companies that most companies assume it is somehow required. The SEC has long supported the framework, to be sure, and it looks like it will continue to do so.
This agreement should indeed help facilitate greater information sharing between U.S. and Chinese regulators. Of course, one might argue that the deal represents an effort by the Chinese to offer some concessions but remain steadfast in keeping the PCAOB from sticking its nose into the Chinese audit industry too deeply.
Back in the pre-financial crisis days, accounting fraud cases were fairly common; about 25 percent of all SEC enforcement efforts in 2003-2005 were aimed at such fraud, notes the Wall Street Journal . But the financial crisis changed a lot. These days, only about 11 percent of cases are over accounting fraud.
It seems the COSO framework has been around forever as the go-to standard for the internal financial controls process. The original framework was launched in 1992 and is still in force today. After so many years, it may be hard to believe that the end is near -- but it is.
It's hard to believe that Section 404 of the landmark Sarbanes-Oxley Act is almost 10 years old. It seems like just yesterday that compliance with 404(b) in particular was such a vexing, expensive issue for companies large and small. At this point, the maturity curve has moved to the point where most companies have refined their processes.
In the shadows of the ferocious controversy over the IRS's handling of 501(c)(4) applications for tax exempt status, a program that will allow the IRS to share tax data with other countries has quietly gotten off the ground.
Audit firms have certainly had their difficulties lately.
It's too early to tell if the Marketplace Fairness Act, which authorizes states to collect taxes on internet-based transactions, will become law. The bill made it easily through the Senate, but will likely face stiffer resistance in the House.
When the SEC updated its guidance on disclosure via social media last month, many applauded it for joining the modern communications era.
An FCPA investigation is no trivial matter, and you can bet the audit committee will be working overtime. And the extra work, in the mind of the Walmart board anyway, deserves extra compensation.