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Grant Thornton LLP authors Guidance on Monitoring Internal Control Systems released by COSO

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  • Grant Thornton LLP authors Guidance on Monitoring Internal Control Systems released by COSO

Guidance shows how to strengthen the integrity of the financial reporting chain

TORONTO, ON, February 18, 2009

Grant Thornton LLP (U.S.), announced, in conjunction with The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO), the release of Guidance on Monitoring Internal Control Systems. The Guidance─developed by COSO and authored by a Grant Thornton team led by U.S. National Managing Partner of Corporate Governance Trent Gazzaway with members from Grant Thornton LLP (Canada) and Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton LLP (Canada)─is designed to help organizations to better monitor internal control of financial systems and to take timely corrective actions with respect to problems in the reporting processes.

“Effective monitoring helps ensure that internal control continues to operate effectively,” said Denis Posten, Partner, with Grant Thornton LLP (Canada). “Many organizations are not fully utilizing the monitoring component of internal controls. Businesses can adapt this Guidance and improve controls and reduce the costs.”

The Guidance, comprising three volumes, illustrates examples of effective prevention and monitoring of weaknesses in design and operation of internal controls. Volume I: Guidance presents the fundamental principles of effective monitoring, linking to COSO’s Internal Control — Integrated Framework. Volume II: Application conveys in greater detail the principles outlined in Volume I and provides guidance to those responsible for implementing effective monitoring. Volume III: Examples provides case studies of internal control monitoring.

“During an economic downturn, when confidence in the financial sector is low, companies need to look at their internal financial reporting processes and proactively implement corrective measures, to mitigate risk, improve governance and ensure the accuracy of financial statements,” said John S. Cochrane, Delegate Partner, Assurance, with Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton LLP (Canada).

COSO engaged Grant Thornton in January 2007 to lead the development of the project after concluding there was a need for more guidance on effectively monitoring internal controls, as well as complying with the U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX). The oversight task force consisted of representatives from COSO's five sponsoring organizations and other experts; participants from the U.S. Government Accountability Office; and representatives from audit firms and both large and small companies; as well as project observers from the SEC and the PCAOB. The project was exposed for public comment before final publication.

The introduction can be downloaded for free from COSO’s Web site at The Guidance is available both in electronic and hard-copy format and can be purchased at

About Grant Thornton LLP in Canada
Grant Thornton LLP is a leading Canadian accounting and advisory firm providing audit, tax and advisory services to private and public organizations. Together with the Quebec firm Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton LLP, Grant Thornton has more than 3,100 people in offices across Canada. Grant Thornton LLP is a Canadian member of Grant Thornton International Ltd, whose member and correspondent firms operate in over 100 countries worldwide.

About Grant Thornton LLP (U.S.)
The people in the independent firms of Grant Thornton International Ltd provide personalized attention and the highest quality service to public and private clients in more than 100 countries. Grant Thornton LLP is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the six global audit, tax and advisory organizations. Grant Thornton International Ltd and its member firms are not a worldwide partnership, as each member firm is a separate and distinct legal entity.

About Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton LLP
Founded in 1948, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton LLP has become one of the leaders in assurance, taxation, consulting, recovery and reorganization services. The Firm owes its success to more than 2,000 employees, including over 240 partners, operating in more than 90 offices across Québec, eastern Ontario and New Brunswick. As a member firm within Grant Thornton International Ltd we have access to member and correspondent firms in over 100 countries, offering our clients specialist local knowledge supported by international expertise and methodologies.

About Grant Thornton International Ltd
Grant Thornton LLP is a Canadian member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd (Grant Thornton International). Grant Thornton International and the member firms are not a worldwide partnership. Services are delivered by the member firms independently.

About COSO
Originally formed in 1985 to sponsor the National Commission on Fraudulent Financial Reporting, COSO is a voluntary private sector organization dedicated to improving the quality of financial reporting through business ethics, effective internal controls, and corporate governance. COSO comprises the American Accounting Association (AAA), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Financial Executives International (FEI), the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), and The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA).

Susi Tarleton 
Grant Thornton LLP, 416-369-7002,