Westlake Village, Calif. (March 31, 2004) -- While certain audit committee practices lead to higher satisfaction with the financial audit process, only 20 percent of audit committees practice a majority of them, according to a study of audit performance since the implementation of Sarbanes-Oxley by J.D. Power & Associates.

Audit committees from two industries that are subject to a greater amount of regulation and scrutiny -- financial services and energy/utilities -- appear to do the best job of implementing best practices, noted Ron Conlin, a partner at J.D. Power & Associates. The Audit Committee Best Practices Report is based on interviews with 758 audit committee chairs and 900 chief financial officers at Securities and Exchange Commission-listed companies surveyed between July and September 2003.

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