High-profile corporate scandals in recent years have seriously eroded public confidence in published financial results.Reliance on the accuracy of financial statements is essential if investors are to own equity or debt instruments of corporations. With the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002 leading the way, the governance role and function of boards of directors are evolving and expanding for public and private companies, as well as nonprofit organizations.

The widespread pursuit of increased transparency and accountability is adding to the board's traditional responsibility of overseeing the actions of management by expanding activities that establish the proper "tone at the top" to ensure an ethical code of conduct, effective risk management practices and acceptable risk levels throughout the organization.

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