Audit committees flooded with CPAs in post-SOX years

MeetingHere's more evidence of the esteem in which CPAs are held by corporate America these days.

A new report from the Huron Consulting Group shows that accountants have occupied a growing number of seats on audit committees since the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was enacted in 2002. This article lists the following findings from the report:

  • Accountants make up 12 percent of audit committee rosters today, up from 6 percent five years ago.
  • Twenty-three percent of audit committees examined by the report are chaired by accountants, up from about 10 percent in 2002.
  • The percentage of audit committees with at least one accountant has risen to 40 percent, up from 21 percent in 2002.
  • Audit committee members who are finance professionals exceeded accountants by fewer than 3 to 1 last year. That ratio was 5 to 1 in 2002.

The report defined "accountants" as "certified public accountants, controllers / comptrollers, accounting professors, and those who served on accounting standards or other similar oversight boards. "

"Accounting professionals are clearly in high demand by the business world," said Joseph J. Floyd, vice president and practice leader for Huron's Financial Consulting practice. "More than ever, businesses are making sure that accountants are involved with or leading audit committees."

That's one type of reform that corporate America should welcome with open arms.


Bill Sheridan