Audit lobby group formed to combat Sarbox beef-up

A group of America’s largest firms has joined forces to found the Center for
Audit Quality (CAQ) in a bid to restore corporate confidence in the profession.

The move comes as auditors and companies prepare to adjust to significant
changes to the implementation of the Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and audit law,
which have been unveiled by the Securities and Exchange Commission and
the Public Company Accounting
Oversight Board
 in recent weeks.

Accounting professionals will dominate the new organisation’s 12-member
board. Seven seats will be held by the head of the American Institute of
Certified Public Accountants and the chief executives of the six largest audit
firms, with two seats rotating among smaller and mid-tier firms. Three public
board members will be named shortly, the
Dow Jones reported.  

Already named to the board are AICPA Chief Executive Barry Melancon, BDO
Seidman chief executive Jack Weisbaum, Crowe Chizek and Co CEO Mark Hildebrand,
Deloitte & Touche CEO James Quigley, Ernst & Young chairman and CEO
James Turley, Grant Thornton CEO Ed Nusbaum, KPMG Chairman and chief executive
Timothy Flynn, McGladrey & Pullen managing partner David Scudder and
PricewaterhouseCoopers chairman Dennis Nally.

CAQ executive director Cindy Fornelli believes that accounting firms had
addressed the fact that ‘people lost confidence in our public marketplace’ after
corporate accounting scandals. She said that firms want to tackle the problem
head-on by improving audit quality and working with regulators and investors to
consider ways to improve corporate financial reports.

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