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Definition: COSO

(Committee Of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission) An initiative of five accounting associations that provide guidance in risk and control, which enable good organizational governance and reduction of fraud. Founded in 1985, COSO sponsored the National Commission on Fraudulent Financial Reporting, which was chaired by James Treadway, Jr., former commissioner of the SEC.

The COSO framework is widely used in auditing for compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA). COSO's core elements of internal control are (1) Control environment, (2) Risk assessment, (3) Control activities, (4) Information & communication and (5) Monitoring.