T » Topics » Assessment of Internal Control

This excerpt taken from the T 10-K filed Feb 26, 2007.

Assessment of Internal Control

The management of AT&T is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting, as defined in Rule 13a-15(f) or 15d-15(f) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. AT&T’s internal control system was designed to provide reasonable assurance to the company’s management and Board of Directors regarding the preparation and fair presentation of published financial statements.

 

AT&T management assessed the effectiveness of the company’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2006. In making this assessment, it used the criteria set forth by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) in Internal Control – Integrated Framework. We have excluded from the scope of our assessment of internal control over financial reporting the operations and related assets of BellSouth and AT&T Mobility, which we acquired on December 29, 2006. At December 31, 2006 and for the period from December 29 through December 31, 2006, total assets and total revenues subject to BellSouth’s internal control over financial reporting represented 27% and 0.2% of AT&T’s consolidated total assets and total revenues as of and for the year ended December 31, 2006 and total assets and total revenues subject to AT&T Mobility’s internal control over financial reporting represented 36% and 0.3% of AT&T’s consolidated total assets and total revenues as of and for the year ended December 31, 2006. Based on its assessment, AT&T management believes that, as of December 31, 2006, the Company’s internal control over financial reporting is effective based on those criteria.

 

Ernst & Young LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, has issued an attestation report on management’s assessment of the company’s internal control over financial reporting. The attestation report is included on Page 88.

 

/s/ Edward E. Whitacre Jr.

/s/ Rick Lindner

Edward E. Whitacre Jr.

Richard G. Lindner

Chairman of the Board and

Senior Executive Vice President and

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Financial Officer

 

86



Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

 

 

The Board of Directors and Stockholders

AT&T Inc.

 

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of AT&T Inc. (the Company) as of December 31, 2006 and 2005, and the related consolidated statements of income, stockholders’ equity, and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2006. These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements based on our audits.

 

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement. An audit includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. An audit also includes assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

 

In our opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the consolidated financial position of the Company at December 31, 2006 and 2005, and the consolidated results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2006, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

 

As discussed in Note 1 to the financial statements, in 2006 the Company changed its method of accounting for pension and other post-retirement benefits.

 

We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States), the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2006, based on criteria established in Internal Control – Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission and our report dated February 15, 2007, expressed an unqualified opinion thereon.

 

 

/s/ Ernst & Young LLP 

San Antonio, Texas

February 15, 2007

 

87



Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm on Internal Control over Financial Reporting

 

The Board of Directors and Stockholders

AT&T Inc.

 

We have audited management’s assessment as described in the “Assessment of Internal Control,” included in the accompanying Report of Management, that AT&T Inc. (the Company) maintained effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2006, based on criteria established in Internal Control – Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (the COSO criteria). The Company’s management is responsible for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on management’s assessment and an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting based on our audit.

 

We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects. Our audit included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, evaluating management’s assessment, testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control, and performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.

 

A company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

 

Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.

 

As indicated in the accompanying “Assessment of Internal Control,” management’s assessment of and conclusion on the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting did not include the internal controls of BellSouth Corporation (BellSouth) or AT&T Mobility LLC (formerly Cingular Wireless LLC), which were acquired on December 29, 2006, and are included in the 2006 consolidated financial statements of the Company. At December 31, 2006, and for the period from December 29 through December 31, 2006, total assets and total revenues subject to BellSouth’s internal control over financial reporting represented 27% and 0.2% of the Company’s consolidated total assets and total revenues as of and for the year ended December 31, 2006, and total assets and total revenues subject to AT&T Mobility LLC’s internal control over financial reporting represented 36% and 0.3% of the Company’s consolidated total assets and total revenues as of and for the year ended December 31, 2006. Our audit of internal control over financial reporting of the Company also did not include an evaluation of the internal control over financial reporting of BellSouth or AT&T Mobility LLC.

 

In our opinion, management’s assessment that the Company maintained effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2006, is fairly stated, in all material respects, based on the COSO criteria. Also, in our opinion, the Company maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2006, based on the COSO criteria.

 

We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States), the consolidated balance sheets of the Company as of December 31, 2006 and 2005, and the related consolidated statements of income, stockholders’ equity, and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2006, of the Company and our report dated February 15, 2007, expressed an unqualified opinion thereon.

 

/s/ Ernst & Young LLP 

San Antonio, Texas

February 15, 2007

 

88

 

 

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