Svensk Kod för bolagsstyrning : Intern kontroll avseende bolagens finansiella rapportering
The Swedish Code for Corporate Governance was introduced on July 1, 2005. All companies then listed at OM Stockholmsbörsen A-list and those on the O-list with a market value of more than three billion SKr must implement the rules in the Code. The Code includes rules for corporate governance as a complement to the legislation. The Code is based on the principle comply or explain. This means that the companies are aloud to diverge from the rules if they explain why. The reason for this principle is that it enables a much higher level of ambition in the Code than if it would be legislated.The Swedish Code for Corporate Governance has introduced much tougher rules on internal control than the existing legislation demands. The Code demands a good internal control without defining what it means. The idea is that the companies themselves are responsible for developing a standard for good internal control. It also includes that the board should sign an annual report about the companies internal control and establish a special internal audit function for evaluating the internal control system.The main purpose with this paper is to study the implementation of the Code in Swedish companies concerning the rules on internal control of the financial reporting.The paper is limited to the companies listed at OM Stockholmsbörsen former A-list which apply with the Code. Five companies are being interviewed on their work with internal control. All companies at the former A-list are included in the study of the existence of an internal audit function.The paper is based on both secondary and primary data, mainly focused on the latter. The secondary data is collected from literature, journals, internet and annual reports from the companies included in the study. Primary data has been collected via e-mail and telephone contacts. One of the interviews was done via telephone and the others through meetings at the companies head offices.The study shows that exactly half of the companies have an internal audit function and the existence of the function is strongly related to the ownership structure. Only companies with a wide spread in ownership and nationalized companies has the function.There is a great uncertainty about what good internal control means. A suitable solution to apply with the rules in the Code is therefore to use COSO’s definition and recommendations on internal control. The framework also includes guidelines on how to evaluate and improve internal control.
School:Högskolan i Gävle
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:internal control audit function sox coso principal agent theory
Date of Publication:09/02/2007