Risk management has become a top concern of audit committee members, according to a new report.

A survey of 300 audit committee members by KPMG's Audit Committee Institute and the National Association of Corporate Directors found that only 28 percent consider themselves "very satisfied" that they understand the process used by management to identify and assess significant business risks. Only 21 percent are very satisfied with the risk reports they receive from management.

No. 2 on the list of top priorities was accounting judgments and estimates. Information technology risk and governance ranked third on the list of concerns. One-quarter of respondents said they were not clear about the areas of IT risk the audit committee is responsible for overseeing, and 26 percent said they were not satisfied with management's reports on IT risks.

Seventy-four percent said communication and coordination of risk oversight activities among the audit committee, board and other committees could be improved.

However, nine out of 10 of the audit committee members surveyed say their audit committee is more effective now than prior to the enactment of Sarbanes-Oxley in 2002. Nearly half say the audit committee is much more effective.

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