This publication has been developed to assist those users of the Internal Control – Integrated Framework (2013) who are responsible for designing, implementing, and conducting a system of internal control over external financial reporting that supports the preparation of financial statements and other external financial reporting.
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The Internal Control – Integrated Framework sets forth three categories of objectives: operations, reporting, and compliance. The focus of the Compendium is the external financial reporting category of objectives, a subset of the reporting category. External financial reporting objectives address the preparation of financial reports for external parties, including:
Users will find relevant approaches and examples of how organizations may apply the principles set forth in the Framework in the design, implementation and conduct of internal control over external financial reporting. The approaches and examples are samples of activities for management to consider, rather than a complete or authoritative list.
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COSO’s Internal Control—Integrated Framework (Framework) sets forth three categories of objectives: operations, reporting, and compliance. The focus of this publication, Internal Control over External Financial Reporting: A Compendium of Approaches and Examples (Compendium) is the external financial reporting category of objectives, a subset of the reporting category. External financial reporting objectives address the preparation of financial reports for external parties, including:
Financial statements for external purposes Other external financial reporting derived from an entity’s financial and accounting books and records
Intended Audience The Compendium has been developed to assist those users of the Framework who are responsible for designing, implementing, and conducting a system of internal control over external financial reporting (ICEFR) that supports the preparation of financial statements and other external financial reporting. It is also relevant to entities that report on the effectiveness of a system of internal control over external financial reporting relating to the preparation of financial statements. The preparation of financial statements for external purposes and other external financial reporting applies to the following types of entities:
Public Entities—Often, public entities are required to prepare financial statements for external purposes in accordance with applicable accounting standards, rules, and regulations. Additionally, they often prepare other external financial reporting derived from its financial and accounting books and records, such as earnings press releases, or information included in stipulated reports for business partners or lending agencies as required by contract. Private Entities—Entities whose ownership may be closely held may prepare financial statements to provide to banks and other third parties in order to raise capital or to meet contractual obligations. These statements can be prepared in accordance with standards and regulations, even though often, doing so may not be a requirement for private entities. More commonly, the form of the financial statements or of other external financial reporting is stipulated by contractual obligations or a third party. Not-For-Profit Entities—These entities may prepare financial statements for external purposes in accordance with appropriate rules and regulations. However, because the purpose of these entities is something other than realizing and generating profit, they may also prepare financial reporting for donors, government agencies, or other third parties that is not necessarily in accordance with specific standards, rules, or regulations, but aims to raise funds to support the stated cause.
Governmental Entities—These entities prepare financial statements that are required by law. As well, they may prepare financial reporting in accordance with specific standards, rules, or regulations, but which is not necessarily required, for the public or governmental oversight agencies.
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