Importance of Segregation of Duties

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Segregation of Duties

Introduction

An important function of the accounting field is to provide external users of financial statements with assurance that the financial information being presented is both reliable and accurate. This basic function of accounting is so important that there is an entire field of experts, called auditors, dedicated to assuring its proper performance. Throughout history there have been many instances in which the basic equilibrium between an institution and current/potential investor has been threatened due to a lack of accountability and trust between the two parties. This issue has been the catalyst for many discussions regarding the proper procedures a firm should follow in order to provide
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These changes were outlined in the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX). SOX completely revolutionized financial reporting, requiring senior management of firms to sign off on each financial statement that the company issues. It also stipulated that wrongful doing can result in not only termination but also imprisonment. SOX amplified the requirement for companies, requiring firms to maintain proper levels of internal controls when it comes to operating activities. SOX also established the creation of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) which implemented stricter auditing standards for public accounting firms. Not only were accounting firms required to consider internal controls, but they were also required report any significant deficiency directly to the board of directors. SOX stressed the importance of internal controls, and within internal controls it established the need for segregation of duties. Since this time, there have been many additions to accounting policies regards segregations of duties, and many functions of the business process dedicated to it. Business Risk Consideration in IT Auditing

Business risks that plague today’s businesses can be far reaching and varied. The greatest business risk any company failing to continue as a going concern. The fundamental accounting principle of continuing as a going concern is a top consideration when conducting an Information
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