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CAQ Snapshot: January 2017

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

CAQ Celebrates 10 Years of Serving Public Company Auditors, Investors, and the Markets

Public company auditors, current and former policymakers, and representatives from stakeholder groups throughout accounting and financial reporting gathered in Washington, DC to mark the 10th anniversary of the CAQ’s formation in January 2007.

CAQ Executive Director Cindy Fornelli provides welcome remarks at the CAQ’s 10-year anniversary celebration

“[The story of the CAQ] is really about a profession: public company auditing,” said CAQ Executive Director Cindy Fornelli in remarks to open the event. “And the underlying story of that profession is that it is a force for good that greatly benefits our capital markets, our economy, and investors.”

Public Company Accounting Oversight Board Chairman James R. Doty leads a panel discussion, “A Decade of Audit and Governance,” at the CAQ’s 10-year anniversary celebration.

At the event, participants focused on 10 key values that characterize and define both public company auditing and the work of the CAQ: advocacy, celebration, collaboration, connection, evolution, independence, innovation, objectivity, skepticism, and transparency. As noted by Fornelli in this recent LinkedIn post, the CAQ will continue to highlight these themes on social media using the hashtag #caq10for10, as part of its 10th-anniversary celebration throughout the year.

2016 Year in Review Recaps CAQ Accomplishments

The CAQ has published its 2016 Year in Review, which covers the CAQ’s key activities and accomplishments in support of public company audit quality.

Among other topics, the Year in Review highlights the CAQ’s work to help public company auditors improve their effectiveness, its support for independent research, its collaborative efforts around fighting financial reporting fraud and working with audit committees, and its engagement with regulators on many key issues, including audit quality indicators, effective disclosure, and the auditor’s reporting model. To request a hard copy of the report, please contact Cherissa Cruz at

CAQ Comment Letter Urges Principles-Based Approach to Cybersecurity

The existence of disparate cybersecurity frameworks has created a challenging environment for organizations grappling with effective cybersecurity risk management, said the CAQ in a January comment letter. The CAQ filed the letter in response to an advance notice of proposed rulemaking issued by the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

“Any rulemaking in the cybersecurity space should endeavor to reduce the compliance and communication burdens companies face,” stated the CAQ’s letter, which urged that financial and other regulators take a principles-based approach to cybersecurity and resilience.

As an example of a sound approach, the CAQ highlighted the efforts of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) to develop a voluntary, market-based solution for reporting on cybersecurity risk management. The AICPA’s work, the CAQ added, “will also serve as the requisite foundation for high quality, independent third-party assurance services, which will necessarily evolve over time to address changing market dynamics and needs.”

Commentary: “Protecting That ‘Priceless Asset’ – Your Company’s Reputation”

It has been observed that a company’s reputation should be “protected as if it’s a matter of life and death.” In a January LinkedIn Influencers post, CAQ Executive Director Cindy Fornelli discusses four ways that companies can manage reputation risk, including fostering a “speak-up” corporate culture and learning from other leading companies.

“A healthy, ethically-minded corporate culture is so important for organizations on many levels: deterring financial fraud, gaining competitive advantage, and creating value,” Fornelli writes. “Fostering sound corporate culture is also an essential part of protecting a company’s reputation.”

Karen Horn, Ken Daly Appear on “Profession in Focus”

This month, the CAQ added two new episodes to its “Profession in Focus” series. The first episode features Karen N. Horn, Senior Managing Director at Brock Capital Group and Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD). Horn discusses the importance of long-term value creation and why boardroom diversity is “not just a niche issue anymore.”

A subsequent episode features Ken Daly, who on January 25 retired as Chief Executive Officer of the NACD. Daly reflects on his proudest accomplishments at NACD, top issues facing today’s corporate directors, and the changes in financial reporting and corporate governance that he’s witnessed over his distinguished career.

Join the CAQ at These Upcoming Events

Equilar Board Leadership Forum
Cindy Fornelli will moderate a panel at Equilar’s 2017 Board Leadership Forum discussion on the topic of “Boards that Lead: What Do Investors Want to See from Directors?” Panelists include David Larcker, Professor & Faculty Director of the Corporate Governance Research Initiative at Stanford Graduate School of Business; Damon Oshita, Senior Analyst of Governance & Proxy at The Capital Group; and Anne Sheehan, Director of Corporate Governance at CalSTRS.
February 2, 2017; San Francisco, CA (Website)

Ethisphere Gender Diversity Forum
The CAQ is proud to partner with Ethisphere on the 2017 Gender Diversity Forum, where key thought leaders, including the CAQ’s Cindy Fornelli, will discuss benefits and best practices of gender diversity in the boardroom.
February 7, 2017; New York, NY (Website)

National Press Foundation Annual Awards Dinner
The CAQ is honored to sponsor the 2017 NPF Awards Dinner, celebrating “The Best in American Journalism.” Congratulations to all award winners and nominees!
February 16, 2017; Washington, DC (Website)

CII Winter Conference
As a proud sponsor, we look forward to seeing our corporate governance colleagues at the 2017 Council of Institutional Investors Winter Conference.
February 27-March 1, 2017; Washington, DC (Website)

ICGN Conference
Join the CAQ at ICGN’s first event of 2017, where Cindy Fornelli will moderate a panel discussion on the topic of “Continuing the Conversation on Non-GAAP.” Registration is now open!
March 1-2, 2017; Washington, DC (Website)