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Contracts

Commercial Law

Boston College Law School

2004

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Facilitating Auditing’S New Early Warning System: Control Disclosure, Auditor Liability And Safe Harbors, Lawrence A. Cunningham Apr 2004

Facilitating Auditing’S New Early Warning System: Control Disclosure, Auditor Liability And Safe Harbors, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This Article considers the interplay between new auditing standards governing audits of internal control over financial reporting and pre-existing legal standards governing auditor liability for audit failure. The interplay produces skewed liability incentives that, if unadjusted, threaten to impair the objective of this new control-audit regime. The regime’s objective is, in part, to provide an early warning to financial statement users when current financial statements are reliable but control weaknesses indicate material risk of a company’s future inability to produce reliable financial statements. To be meaningful, auditor disclosure of material weaknesses and potential effects is necessary. While liability ...