IBM’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015, includes the following section from its…
IBM’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015, includes the following section from its Report of Management found on page 74:
Management Responsibility for Financial Information Responsibility for the integrity and objectivity of the financial information presented in this Annual Report rests with IBM management. The accompanying financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America, applying certain estimates and judgments as required. IBM maintains an effective internal control structure. It consists, in part, of organizational arrangements with clearly defined lines of responsibility and delegation of authority, and comprehensive systems and control procedures. An important element of the control environment is an ongoing internal audit program. Our system also contains self-monitoring mechanisms, and actions are taken to correct deficiencies as they are identified. To assure the effective administration of internal controls, we carefully select and train our employees, develop and disseminate written policies and procedures, provide appropriate communication channels and foster an environment conducive to the effective functioning of controls. We believe that it is essential for the company to conduct its business affairs in accordance with the highest ethical standards, as set forth in the IBM Business Conduct Guidelines. These guidelines, translated into numerous languages, are distributed to employees throughout the world, and reemphasized through internal programs to assure that they are understood and followed. The Audit Committee of the Board of Directors is composed solely of independent, nonmanagement directors, and is responsible for recommending to the Board the independent registered public accounting firm to be retained for the coming year, subject to stockholder ratification. The Audit Committee meets periodically and privately with the independent registered public accounting firm, with the company’s internal auditors, as well as with IBM management, to review accounting, auditing, internal control structure and financial reporting matters.
1. Describe the main components of IBM’s internal control structure.
2. What is the composition of IBM’s Audit Committee? Describe its role.