COSO adds learning program for internal control certificates

The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) said on Dec. 9, 2016, that it is offering a self-study, on-demand learning program for its COSO Internal Control Certificate.

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) and the AICPA are offering the program for financial professionals, accountants, and internal auditors. The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) plans to offer the course in January.

COSO said the program complements the committee’s certificate program for internal controls and that both programs teach the design, implementation, and monitoring of financial reporting controls according to COSO’s Internal Control—Integrated Framework. COSO launched the internal control certificate program in 2015 to help financial professionals study risks and implement sound internal controls.

COSO's Framework has been a point of reference for the SEC and PCAOB in their guidance on financial reporting controls.

In Release No. 33-8238, Management's Reports on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting and Certification of Disclosure in Exchange Act Periodic Reports, the SEC said the COSO Framework was one example of the types of guidelines companies can use when establishing financial reporting controls. The PCAOB made a similar assertion in Auditing Standard (AS 5) No. 5, An Audit of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting That Is Integrated with An Audit of Financial Statements, (AS 2201).

COSO is backed by the AICPA, Financial Executives International, the Institute of Internal Auditors, the American Accounting Association, and the Institute of Management Accountants.

The Treadway Commission was formed in July 1985 in the wake of several accounting scandals and was originally named the National Commission on Fraudulent Financial Reporting. It was named for its chairman, James Treadway, who was an SEC commissioner from 1982 to 1985.

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