Chapter 4 - Internal Controls, Accounting for Cash, and Ethics

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CHAPTER 4 - Internal Controls, Accounting for Cash, and Ethics ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS 1. The accounting scandals of WorldCom and Enron are partially responsible for the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. SOX requires public companies to evaluate their internal control system. 2. Internal control is the process designed to ensure reliable financial reporting, effective and efficient operations, and compliance with applicable laws and regulations. 3. Section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley requires a statement of management’s responsibility for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting by public companies. This section includes an assessment of the controls and the identification of the framework used for the assessment. The framework established by The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) in 1992 is the de facto standard by which SOX compliance is judged. 4. The five components of COSO’s framework are as follows: 1. Control Environment. The integrity and ethical values of the company, including its code of conduct, involvement of the board of directors, and other actions that set the tone of the organization. 2. Risk Assessment. Management’s process of identifying potential risks that could result in misstated financial statements and developing actions to address those risks. 3. Control Activities. These are the activities usually thought of as “the internal control.” They include such things as separation of duties, account reconciliations, and information processing controls that are designed to safeguard assets and enable an organization to timely prepare reliable financial statements. 4. Information and Communication. The internal and external reporting process, and includes an assessment of the technology environment. 5. Monitoring. Assessing the quality of a company’s

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