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Beyond Coso: Internal Control to Enhance Corporate Governance [Paperback]

Steven J. Root
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 24 2000 0471391123 978-0471391128 1
The authoritative, practical guide to internal control after COSO (Committee on Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission)

Beyond COSO unravels the complexities of the COSO Report while providing clear-cut guidelines on how to implement the various internal controls it mandates. Just as important, it builds on the COSO framework to provide a more rigorous system that corporate executives and directors can use to transform the internal control function into a valuable strategic tool for leveraging corporate strengths and improving performance.

The first practical guide to complying with COSO Report mandates, Beyond COSO:
* Clearly explains the intricacies of the COSO Report
* Describes proven techniques for complying with COSO requirements
* Provides a detailed account of the internal control oversight process
* Offers expert recommendations on how to carry out internal control responsibilities more efficiently
* Supplies a wealth of ready-to-use internal control documentation


Beyond COSO is an invaluable working resource for internal and external auditors, CFOs, members of audit committees, and corporate directors.

www.wiley.com/accounting

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From the Inside Flap

With the publication of the COSO Report in 1992, the scope of the corporate internal control function was expanded to include responsibility for compliance with an array of laws and regulations, accepted business practices, and financial reporting standards. One predictable by-product of this redefinition of internal control has been increased executive accountability. However, as author Steven J. Root clearly demonstrates in this ground-breaking book, while the Report does include a framework for assessing internal control, that framework, with its narrow focus on financial reporting, does not provide the rigorous system of checks and balances necessary in a business climate marked by ever more activist and litigious shareholders. Today’s senior executives and their internal auditors need a more expansive framework than that provided by COSO, one that more closely aligns internal control concepts with the main objectives of corporate governance. Beyond COSO provides you with just such a framework. Beyond COSO begins with a philosophical/historical review of internal control concepts as they have evolved, up to and including the COSO Report. This is followed by an in-depth exploration of the crucial ethical issues surrounding the contemporary internal control function. Readers will appreciate author Steven J. Root’s fascinating discussions of common lapses in ethics, the potential risks they entail, and how to avoid them. Drawing upon his extensive experience as a chief internal auditor with a Fortune 500 company and as a leading member of the Internal Auditing Standards Board, Mr. Root provides a detailed account of the internal control oversight process, with recommendations on how those responsible for internal control in North American corporations can more effectively discharge their responsibilities. He also makes a strong case for expanding the COSO-prescribed internal control criteria from 5 to 16, bringing the internal control function in line with all critical management activities, from IT development to human resource management. Finally, he offers clear, practicable guidelines for expanding the scope of any company’s internal control function and transforming it from a financial oversight mechanism into a potent strategic tool for maximizing corporate performance. Beyond COSO is an invaluable working resource for internal and external auditors, CFOs, members of audit committees, and corporate directors. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

The authoritative, practical guide to internal control after COSO (Committee on Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission)

Beyond COSO unravels the complexities of the COSO Report while providing clear-cut guidelines on how to implement the various internal controls it mandates. Just as important, it builds on the COSO framework to provide a more rigorous system that corporate executives and directors can use to transform the internal control function into a valuable strategic tool for leveraging corporate strengths and improving performance.

The first practical guide to complying with COSO Report mandates, Beyond COSO:

  • Clearly explains the intricacies of the COSO Report
  • Describes proven techniques for complying with COSO requirements
  • Provides a detailed account of the internal control oversight process
  • Offers expert recommendations on how to carry out internal control responsibilities more efficiently
  • Supplies a wealth of ready-to-use internal control documentation

Beyond COSO is an invaluable working resource for internal and external auditors, CFOs, members of audit committees, and corporate directors.

www.wiley.com/accounting


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This chapter approaches internal control from a conceptual viewpoint. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Paperback
Anyone who read this book when it was first published in 1998 needs to re-read it in the context of the Enron revelations. It is amazing how Steven J. Root's examination and explanation of what internal control is, how it should be implemented and what it can and cannot accomplish is exactly on-point vis-à-vis the break downs in corporate governance at Enron, Global Crossing and others of their ilk. Anyone from business student to congressional overseer, who wants the proper framework for understanding and explaining these crises should carefully study this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Understand the history and shortcomings of COSO Aug. 14 2003
Format:Paperback
Great overview of its history, and other frameworks for internal control evaluations. Clearly the author has major misgivings with COSO, and describes why the shortcomings reflect the biases of the authors, which is the public accounting firms. Excellent overview of other frameworks, and why they might be superior. With the passage of the Sarbanes Oxley Act, this understanding might seem more important, but likely many organizations will struggle just to do COSO. An important addition to any research on COSO.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Oct. 11 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Excellent coverage of the history of internal control issues. Good analysis of weaknesses/strengths of COSO and the strengths of other control related models. Good explanation of a broader management approach to internal control that the author advocates. Good suggestions for implementing the broader approach in a company and the roles of the Board, Senior Managment and Internal Audit. The author is obviously quite knowledgeable about these issues and the book is easy to read and is very interesting. People interested in developing their knowledge about this subject or concerned about good business and control practices and ways to enhance the likelihood of success for their company will find this book very valuable.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understand the history and shortcomings of COSO Aug. 14 2003
By Glenn A. Carleton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great overview of its history, and other frameworks for internal control evaluations. Clearly the author has major misgivings with COSO, and describes why the shortcomings reflect the biases of the authors, which is the public accounting firms. Excellent overview of other frameworks, and why they might be superior. With the passage of the Sarbanes Oxley Act, this understanding might seem more important, but likely many organizations will struggle just to do COSO. An important addition to any research on COSO.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Coso : Internal Control to Enhance Corporate Governan March 1 2002
By KYLE R MERCER - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Anyone who read this book when it was first published in 1998 needs to re-read it in the context of the Enron revelations. It is amazing how Steven J. Root's examination and explanation of what internal control is, how it should be implemented and what it can and cannot accomplish is exactly on-point vis-à-vis the break downs in corporate governance at Enron, Global Crossing and others of their ilk. Anyone from business student to congressional overseer, who wants the proper framework for understanding and explaining these crises should carefully study this book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of best books on (internal) control May 2 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Beyond COSO is probably one of the best, complete and most recent books on (internal) control. What interested me a great deal was that Root behind the masks of the committee of sponsoring organisations looks, metaphorically speaking. It helped me a great deal on writing a graduation paper on this topic.
4.0 out of 5 stars A Valuable Resource for the Management Consultant May 30 2013
By J. M Heumann - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is written by an internal auditor for internal auditors. It isn't badly written, but it is turgid: I could take almost any sentence and reduce its length by a third.

So, if you're not an internal auditor, why read it? Frankly, because if you're a management consultant, it's quite a useful book (and can even be interesting). Reasons:

1. It's about internal control. Its main argument is that the COSO Framework for corporate governance is limited by its origins with the accounting profession and the Big Five; COSO is concerned primarily with internal accounting (financial) controls, only secondarily with the controls that constitute a governance framework.

2. It defines "internal control" in workable terms, proposing an alternative framework to COSO's. This framework can be exceedingly useful if you want to (1) place yourself and your consulting services in clear relation to what a business may need to have done and (2) develop checklists for diagnosing the ills of the client business.

3. It gives a thorough and even interesting account of the drivers and external stakeholders (the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the GAO, FDIC, the professional accounting organizations, etc.) influencing internal control accountability.

4. It provides deep insight into the auditor's job and the business's expectations. It provides sets of sample questions that the auditor might ask, as well as sample text for reports.

Of course, the book has some limitations. For one thing, it was published in 1998. This is not to say that it is out of date. But much has happened since, and an update would be valuable, especially since COSO has just issued (May 2013) an update to both the Framework and the Illustrative Tools for Assessing Effectiveness.

Let me propose some topics, then, for graduate theses:

1. Map the book's framework to

a. The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action

b. Enterprise Architecture As Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution

c. Sarbanes-Oxley.

2. Apply its insights to

a. The mortgage lending and subprime derivatives crisis (Root discusses the S&L crisis of the 1980s and '90s as well as the derivatives scandals of the 1990s, e.g. Procter & Gamble, Barings, Sumitomo.)

b. The collapse of Enron (Root discusses the McKesson & Robbins fraud of the 1930s, as well as the place of business ethics and the "tone at the top," set by the CEO, in achieving effective corporate governance.)

Beyond COSO does have a few holes in its coverage.

1. Organizational change management is not mentioned--but, then, management implementation of changes proposed by Audit is not really within the book's scope.

2. For all its discussion of risk management and "chaos theory" (the inevitability of unpredictable, unfortunate events), there is surprisingly little attention given to contingency planning, incident management, and disaster recovery. It is as if internal control is inherently concerned only with the normal, repeating, and therefore predictable operations of the business. Succession planning gets attention, but it is never related to sudden death.
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