Sarbanes-Oxley

A&A

How the rise of SaaS relates to SOX, SAS 70, and your legal contracts

The growing popularity of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is having a significant impact on data security and regulations compliance.
A&A

SOX 404 compliance process shows room for improvement

It has been almost eight years since the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), yet companies still report inefficiencies in their implementation of internal accounting controls, according to a survey by Ajilon Finance.

Oxley named as chair of Ethics Resource Center

Michael G. Oxley, a former member of Congress best known as cosponsor of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, has been elected chairman of the board of directors of the nonprofit Ethics Resource Center (ERC).

Center for Audit Quality responds to issues regarding Section 404 compliance

As a result of the current market conditions, Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) member firms have raised questions regarding Section 404 compliance when an issuer exits accelerated filer status and becomes a non-accelerated filer.

New FEI report highlights opportunities for SOX optimization

Significant opportunities still exist for optimization of Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) Section 404 programs and reductions in compliance cost, according to a new report released by BMR Advisors and Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF), the research affiliate of Financial Executives International (FEI).The report, entitled SOX 404 Optimization: Operational Trends, was distributed this week in conjunction with Financial Executives International's Current Financial Reporting Issues conference in New York, and identifies program scope and program structure as the two principal drivers

Sarbanes-Oxley requirements have made financial statements more confusing

The goal of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act was to make corporate accounting more transparent. In practice, a new Cato Institute study finds, the law's requirements have had the opposite effect.Sarbanes-Oxley sought to achieve its aims by having the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) mandate that corporations use Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in reporting their balance sheets to shareholders. In the Cato Institute Briefing Paper FASB: Making Financial Statements Mysterious, T.J.

Before and after Sarbanes-Oxley - learning to live with change

Less than two months after a jury found Arthur Andersen guilty of "corrupt persuasion" of others to withhold documents in the Enron investigation, Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX), legislation designed to address the shock and anger in the country over the bankruptcies of WorldCom and Global Crossing, also clients of Arthur Andersen, and other business and accounting scandals.
A&A

Marketing core services and niche practices after Sarbanes-Oxley

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 turned six years old on July 30. One result of the many far-reaching effects of the legislation has been the growth of specialized practices in small and mid-sized accounting firms that auditors are prohibited from providing by the Securities and Exchange Commission's post-Sarbanes rules. The specialized services, called the niche practices, are designed to meet the needs of clients audited by larger firms, and have become an important focus for marketing in the smaller firms, in addition to their ongoing marketing of core audit and tax services.
A&A

SEC approves one-year SOX 404(b) extension

The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that it has approved a one-year extension of the compliance date for smaller public companies to meet the Section 404(b) auditor attestation requirement of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The SEC also announced that it received Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval to proceed with data collection for a study of the costs and benefits of Section 404 implementation, focusing on the consequences for smaller companies and the effects of the Section 404 auditor attestation requirements.

Center for Audit Quality issues SOX 404 alert

With the effective date of management's implementation of Sarbanes-Oxley Act Section 404(a) for non-accelerated filers (smaller public companies) fast approaching, the AICPA-affiliated Center for Audit Quality has issued an alert to provide information to auditors of those companies on items to consider during the upcoming audit season.Items to Consider Regarding Management's Report on Internal Control for Audits of Non-Accelerated FilersSome Center for Audit Quality member firms have raised questions regarding the auditor's role relative to management's report on its assessment
A&A

SEC authorizes one-year SOX 404(b) extension for SMBs

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has agreed to provide small businesses with an additional one year extension to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404(b) internal control requirements.

SEC charges 69 auditing firms and partners with SOX violation

The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued 69 charges against various accounting firms and partners for violation of a provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act that requires registration with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). Thirty-seven separate firms were involved in the action. No Big Four or major accounting firms were among those charged. This is the first time the SEC has issued such charges. The SEC indicated that 53 audit reports of public companies were issued by those firms and partners who has not registered as required by SOX.

New SOX guidelines benefit small businesses: costs uncertain

The new standard for audits of public companies under section 404 of the Sarbanes Oxley Act, Accounting Standard No. 5, released by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) last month, should ease the burden of compliance for small businesses, but critics continue to press for delay in implementation.

First whisteblower unprotected by SOX

The Department of Labor's Administrative Review Board has ruled that a whistleblower's accusations were not protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act whistleblower protection provision, CFO.com reports. David Welch, former CFO of Virginia bank Cardinal Bancshares, in 2004 was the first person to win whistleblower protection under SOX. Welch said the bank fired him after he raised questions about the bank's accounting policies and internal controls.

10 compliance threats to smaller companies

Smaller public companies performing their first management assessment under Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 may find their first year of compliance particularly challenging. To help unravel the maze of uncertainty, Lord & Benoit has gathered historical evidence of material weaknesses from companies with revenues under $100 million.

SEC approves SOX changes

By unanimous vote, the five members of the Securities and Exchange Commission cleared new guidance for corporate management that addresses Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley law, which requires checks on "internal controls" of financial statements. The changes are aimed at making it easier for managers to check their companies' financial records for misstatements or fraud. The guidance allows managers to satisfy the requirements of the law by identifying the biggest risks to their companies' books, rather than carrying out extensive checks.

Survey shows decreasing SOX compliance costs

The results of a survey conducted by Financial Executives International, a trade association, found that Section 404 compliance cost American corporations less in year three of adoption than in each of the previous two years. The survey of 200 companies, which included 172 "accelerated filers" -- companies with market capitalizations above $75 million -- reported a total average cost for Section 404 compliance of $2.9 million during fiscal year 2006, which represents a 23 percent decrease from 2005 totals.

IIA reports increase in internal auditors

The Institute of Internal Auditors credits corporate scandals, Sarbanes-Oxley legislation, and a renewed focus on protecting stakeholder interests as the driving forces behind the growth of the internal audit profession.As a result, a record number of internal auditor jobs have opened to an enhanced perception of the position as well as higher salaries.IIA reported common misconceptions of what internal auditors do include negative stereotypes, such as "the gotcha-guys," "the financial police," and "the IRS," when in actuality, internal auditors are business generalists who specialize in

Management drives SOX compliance costs down

Financial Executives International (FEI) announced the results of its sixth Sarbanes-Oxley compliance survey, which found that Section 404 compliance cost Corporate America less in year three of adoption than in each of the first two years. FEI polled 200 companies to gauge experiences in complying with Section 404. Responding companies have average revenues of $6.8 billion.

Regulators Not in Favor of Small Business SOX Relief

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox isn't ruling out further delays in applying stricter accounting requirements on small public companies but said such relief isn't the option preferred by regulators. About 6,000 smaller public companies have yet to come under two requirements adopted by Congress in 2002 as part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, calling for companies to make an annual assessment of their internal financial-reporting controls, with further review by the company's outside auditor.

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