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Historical Perspective on Audit Committee

1938

McKesson & Robbins fraud

1939

NYSE recommends the establishment of audit committees

1940

SEC recommends that companies form audit committees—Accounting Series Release (ASR) No. 19

1967

AICPA Executive Committee Statement on Audit Committees of Board of Directors recommends the

establishment of audit committees

1970

Penn Central bankruptcy

1972

ASR Nos. 123 and 126

1973

NYSE White Paper opines that audit committees are a necessity

1974

ASR No. 165

1976

Committees chaired by Senator Lee Metcalf and Congressman John Moss complete their investigations into the accounting profession AICPA forms Commission on Auditors’ Responsibilities (Cohen Commission)

1977

Metcalf Committee Staff Report, The Accounting Establishment, is issued.

1978

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)

1985

AICPA Cohen Commission issues Commission on Auditors’ Responsibilities: Report, Conclusions, and

Recommendations. AICPA forms a special committee to consider the adoption of an audit committee requirement. NYSE requires companies with common stock issues registered on NYSE to have an audit committee

1987

Congressman John D. Dingell convenes the first of a series of hearings into the effectiveness of independent auditors

1988

National Commission on Fraudulent Financial Reporting (NCFRR/the Treadway Commission)

1989

SEC’s five commissioners, by a narrow vote, decide not to require all public companies to have audit committees,

but encourage their formation. Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) No. 61, Communication with the Audit Committees.

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