New guidance, stressing efficient application of effective internal control over financial reporting, was released this week by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission.

The guidance, titled "Internal Control over Financial Reporting -- Guidance for Small Public Companies," was released with a special Webcast that was attended by more than 1,750 participants.

"Our primary goal is that these smaller businesses will use the guidance as a springboard for designing and implementing processes that will help them better run their businesses, as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of their internal controls for regulatory purposes," said COSO Chairman Larry Rittenberg, in a statement.

The document identifies a number of obstacles towards attaining cost-effective control, but argues that such challenges can be overcome. Specifically, the guidance makes recommendations for management philosophy, organizational structure, the assignment of authority and responsibility, and a number of risk assessment objectives, among others.

COSO's "Internal Control -- Integrated Framework" document, released in 1992, has served as the internal control standard for organizations implementing and evaluating internal control in compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

"This guidance is an important part of improving the implementation of Section 404 so that it will work efficiently and effectively," said director of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Division of Corporation Finance, John White, in a statement. "I expect it will help the commission as we proceed with our announced plans to develop guidance for management on how to assess its internal control over financial reporting."

More information, as well as the complete guidance, is available at

Previously on WebCPA:

SEC Says SOX Is Here to Stay, for Everyone (May 16, 2006)

COSO Releases Small Business Guidance (Oct. 27, 2005)

COSO Launches SOX Guidance for Small Biz (Jan. 13, 2005)

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access