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CAQ Snapshot: March 2020

Monday, April 20, 2020

Anti-Fraud Collaboration Assesses Impact of Corporate Culture on Fraud Deterrence

When corporate scandals occur, the root cause can often be traced back to an organization’s weak ethical culture, according to a new white paper, Assessing Corporate Culture: A Proactive Approach to Deter Misconduct, released by the Anti-Fraud Collaboration.

“Building on the Anti-Fraud Collaboration’s decade-long efforts to raise awareness of the influence of corporate culture on conduct, this white paper emphasizes the efficacy of regular assessment in deterring and detecting those elements of culture that can serve as a breeding ground for misconduct,” said CAQ Executive Director, Julie Bell Lindsay.

Implementing robust and regular assessments of corporate culture can help to deter and detect fraud, enabling leadership to take proactive steps to address problems before they result in scandal. This includes working with external and internal auditors, who monitor and evaluate culture as part of the audit process.

Assessing the Impact of SEC Amendments to Filer Definitions

On March 12, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted amendments to the accelerated filer and large accelerated filer definitions, intended to provide relief to smaller issuers and reduce cost for certain public companies. The changes go into effect 30 days after posting to the Federal Register and will apply to annual report filings on or after that date.

The amendments eliminate the requirement for smaller companies with less than $100 million in revenue to obtain a separate audit of their internal controls over financial reporting (ICFR) from an independent outside auditor. In addition, smaller companies will not be subjected to the accelerated filers’ earlier filing deadlines for quarterly and annual reports. However, key protections from the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 will remain intact including independent audit committee requirements, CEO and CFO certifications of financial reports, and maintaining the effectiveness of ICFR.

For more information, including next steps for issuers, auditors and audit committees, click here.

It’s Time to Share Your Road!

Through Discover Audit, the Center for Audit Quality is collaborating with the career experts at Roadtrip Nation to create a community where auditing and accounting professionals can share their stories with fellow and future team members to learn from—and grow with—each other.

Everyone has a story about how they got to where they are today — and every story holds lessons. Share Your Road today to help students find their path.

The CAQ Helps the Council of Institutional Investors Celebrate 35 Years

The CAQ Executive Director Julie Bell Lindsay helped the Council of Institutional Investors (CII) celebrate 35 years of leadership on corporate governance, noting that the CAQ and CII have a mutual interest in closing assurance gaps to protect the integrity and reliability of company-reported information amid a rapidly evolving financial reporting ecosystem.

“Adapting to this new ecosystem and pivoting from the status quo is essential to continued confidence in global capital markets; for this, the CAQ is uniquely positioned to partner with institutional investors and other market stakeholders to meaningfully adapt to this ecosystem before a crisis can erupt. I hope that by continuing to work together we can add raising awareness of these issues and closing assurance gaps to the long-list of CII accomplishments,” said Lindsay.

Ben Edwards Joins The CAQ Communications Team

In March, the CAQ welcomed Ben Edwards as its new Director of Communications. In this role, Ben will oversee the design, implementation, and strengthening of the CAQ’s communications programs and media relations in order to enhance investor confidence and public trust in the capital markets.

Ben joins the CAQ from Powell Tate | Weber Shandwick, a leading global public relations firm, where he led communications and marketing campaigns for publicly traded companies and trade associations. He also brings deep communications and policy experience from his role in the federal government as the Press Director and Spokesperson for the U.S. Agency for International Development. At USAID, he led communications campaigns around major domestic and international initiatives, including the U.S. government’s response to the 2014 Ebola Outbreak.

Check Out These Upcoming Events

As part of efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, all upcoming in-person events have been cancelled or postponed at this time.