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19-May-2016 19:56

Delays in adopting the new guidelines could pose risks for investors.

COSO updated its rules in May 2013, adding 17 related principles to the original set of five that were released in 1992.The accounting-industry consortium retired the old framework on Dec. The new standards require companies to disclose more details about how they design and test their internal controls, which could range from requiring that two people sign off on purchasing orders to restricting access to sales systems.In addition, more than 180 companies disclosed “material weaknesses” in their internal controls in 2013—the latest year for which data were available—an 11% increase from the prior year, according to data tracker Audit Analytics.More significantly, 50 of those companies had to restate financial results, at least in part because of those deficiencies.

Corporate safeguards to prevent financial errors and fraud are like armor: unpolished they rust, and by then it’s too late.

The most widely followed standards for these safeguards—or internal controls—were updated more than a year and a half ago.