Rochester, NY (May 15, 2003) -- The Bonadio Group, a business consulting and accounting firm, has established a new service to help public companies manage complaints related to its internal controls.
The Sarbanes Complaint Solutions niche provides audit committee complaint management and filtering in addition to standard complaint hotline reporting.
Section 301 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires publicly traded companies to establish a procedure for the receipt, retention, and treatment of complaints regarding questionable accounting, internal control, and auditing practices. Most companies have these complaints reported over some form of hotline service, but many audit committees are questioning what to do with the complaints.
Some have personnel filters and follow-up on the complaints. Others see insider involvement as a conflict and are becoming personally involved in reviewing each complaint, resulting in a significant administrative burden. Bonadio’s new service looks to relieve that strain with its new division.
“Most midsized, publicly traded companies don’t have a separate compliance department and there is a concern on part of the audit committee as to how to deal with complaints,” said Donald Eichenauer, a Bonadio Partner and head of the SCS. “The Act’s intention is to enable employees to get information directly to the audit committee, but the audit committee can’t get involved in every single complaint. That’s where we come in.”
Eichenauer said his firm does not consult many publicly traded companies, and has even fewer as audit clients. However, some of those Bonadio consults expressed an interest and a need for the new service.
The 170-person firm currently has four staff members dedicated to SCS, but will add more as demand increases. SCS provides varied levels of service, from simply handling phone calls to the entire administrative process of filtering complaints, producing reports for the audit committee, and monitoring the status of all complaints in process.
Additional information about the SCS can be found at www.sarbanescomplaintsolutions.com
-- Seth Fineberg
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