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 re-emphasized through internal programs to assure that they are understood and followed.
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, is retained to audit IBM’s Consolidated Financial Statements and the effectiveness of the internal control over financial reporting. Its accompanying report is based on audits conducted in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States).
The Audit Committee of the Board of Directors is composed solely of independent, non-management 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.
Management’s report on internal control over financial reporting
Management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting of the company. 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 accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.
The company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (i) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (ii) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (iii) 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.
Management conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting based on the framework in Internal Control — Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO). Based on this evaluation, management concluded that the company’s internal control over financial reporting was effective as of December 31, 2008.
Samuel J. Palmisano
Chairman of the Board,
President and Chief Executive Officer
February 24, 2009
Senior Vice President,
Chief Financial Officer
February 24, 2009