July 30, 2022, marks the 20th anniversary of the Sarbanes Oxley Act, one of the most consequential pieces of federal financial regulation ever enacted into law. It serves as the foundation for many of the guidelines and principles that are now considered routine by boards and their audit, compensation and finance committees. It’s difficult to overstate the continuing impact of Sarbanes on corporate governance. Thus, given the passage of time there is value in board members refreshing their familiarity with the Sarbanes history, in order to better appreciate its influence.
To help underscore the Sarbanes legacy, Michael Peregrine welcomes back Scott Steffens, well-known audit partner in Grant Thornton’s national nonprofit and educational practice. In their conversation, Scott and Michael review the circumstances that led to Sarbanes’s enactment, and how auditor, management and audit committee interactions have changed over the last 20 years, particularly in the nonprofit and healthcare sectors, including:
The role and function of the Audit Committee
The continuing importance of independent directors in Committee membership
The frequency and length of Audit Committee meetings
Rotation of the lead audit partner
Preserving auditor independence
Internal consideration of issues raised in “Management Letter”