The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations for the Commission on Fraudulent Financial Reporting (COSO) (also known as the Treadway Commission) was originally formed in 1985 to sponsor the National Commission on Fraudulent Financial Reporting, an independent private sector initiative which studied the causal factors that can lead to fraudulent financial reporting and developed recommendations for public companies and their independent auditors, for the SEC and other regulators, and for educational institutions.
The National Commission was jointly sponsored by five major professional associations in the United States, the American Accounting Association, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Financial Executives International, The Institute of Internal Auditors, and the National Association of Accountants (now the Institute of Management Accountants). The Commission was wholly independent of each of the sponsoring organizations, and contained representatives from industry, public accounting, investment firms, and the New York Stock Exchange.
The Chairman of the National Commission was James C. Treadway, Jr., Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Paine Webber Incorporated and a former Commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (Hence, the popular name "Treadway Commission"). Currently, the COSO Chairman is Larry E. Rittenberg.