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By Louis Braiotta, Jr.

ISBN# 0-471-34576-8

Published by: John Wiley & Sons

The Audit Committee Handbook is designed to inform anyone with responsibilities to such a committee, or those who wish to have a better understanding of the tasks and responsibilities the committee is charged with. The author's own statement of the book's purpose is five-fold:

1) Understanding the role and responsibilities of the audit committee with a general update and reality check on auditing cycle activities. 2) Identifying the developments that impact audit committee practices and the latest techniques and strategies for committee meetings. 3) Understanding the latest authoritative sources that enable audit committee members to develop a repertoire of effective strategies to help the board of directors discharge its fiduciary responsibility to the stockholders. 4) Developing a comprehensive professional development program that enables committee members to prepare a periodic assessment of their activities and an informed review of both audit processes and financial reporting process. 5) Understanding the legal aspects of the audit committee and role of legal counsel, as well as fraudulent financial reporting.

The book is divided into four parts. The first is a discussion covering the process of getting acquainted with your responsibilities. The narrative covers the auditors' role in the auditing process, corporate accountability and keeping it in perspective, external users of accounting information, the legal position of the audit committee, and current auditing and related accounting standards. Part two is a discussion of the planning function of the audit committee with chapters covering an overview of audit planning and the director's role in planning the audit. Part three contains commentary on the monitoring and reviewing functions of the audit committee with sections on monitoring the system of internal control, monitoring the internal audit function, reviewing accounting policy disclosures, a perspective on fraud and the auditor, and reviewing certain general business practices. Part four covers the reporting function and the audit committee. The text is devoted to technical aspects of the independent aud itors' reports and the audit directors' report.

The appendixes are particularly useful, including a reasonably comprehensive glossary, a historical perspective on audit committees, a discussion of Section 182 of the Business Corporations Act from Ontario, Canada, a commentary on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Amendments, a copy of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act, an excerpt from The Code of Best Practice, a copy of the Model Business Corporation Act--Chapter 8: Directors and Officers, an excellent example of a code of business conduct, the codes of professional conduct of the AICPA, the Institute of Internal Auditors, and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

My opinion of the text is that it is an excellent source manual for understanding the responsibilities associated with work on, or the direction of audit committees. Where the text falls short is in suggesting ways to improve weaknesses in the current standards. If one wishes to know the specifics of audit committee responsibilities, without much critique--this is the book for you.

RATING: **** Very Good
COPYRIGHT 2000 National Society of Public Accountants
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2000 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Review
Author:Glochowski, Mark S.
Publication:The National Public Accountant
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:May 1, 2000
Previous Article:Reference Checking: A Crucial Step in the Hiring Process.

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