Sarbanes-Oxley

Technology

Spreadsheets Advance Beyond the Boundaries of Excel

Standalone spreadsheets, such as Excel, have not seen much innovation for a decade. The need for enterprise utility has become necessary in the face of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), according to Intelligent Enterprise. With all the corporate uses for spreadsheets, other companies are developing new applications to manage and control them more effectively.A quote by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) posted on the ClusterSeven web site reads, “As some companies have discovered, errors in relatively simple spreadsheets can result in potential material misstatements in their financial results.

The SOX Roadmap: A Dead-End for America <i>by Paul Sharman</i>

Imagine you’ve been told you must go on a business trip every year or there will be severe personal consequences. You give the destination and dates to your travel planner and he provides you with an agenda, trip cost estimates and maps. Your planner tells you the first year’s trip should cost no more than $910, and assures you the trip shouldn’t be too onerous. Just before leaving he explains that although you’re not going to the destination you picked yourself, you will enjoy it once you understand the many “good things” his destination offers.
Tax

Grant Thornton LLP Fiscal 2006 Revenues Rise to $886 Million

Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International, one of the six global accounting organizations, today reported that revenues climbed 22 percent, to $886 million in the fiscal year that ended July 31, 2006.
Community News

Mid-Size Firms Unite to Capture Big Four Business

A national network of 22 mid-size accounting firms is marketing itself as one company to draw business away from the Big Four.The network is called Baker Tilly USA, and it opened for business Monday, offering tax, audit and consulting services under one brand name, according to the Washington Post. "We're coming at a time when the business market is crying out for alternatives to the Big Four, and we believe our structure can fill that void," Geoff Barnes, chief executive and president of Baker Tilly International, told the Post.
A&A

More Restatements in 2006 for Smaller Accounting Firms - Update 1

Of the 928 companies that announced in the first half of 2006 that they would file restatements of their results for prior periods, 504 were clients of firms other than the eight largest accounting firms, according to data compiled by AuditAnalytics, a company that analyzes audit problems, the New York Times reports.
A&A

Landmark Study Reveals SOX Compliance Issues

COSO 1992 Control Framework and Management Reporting on Internal Control: Survey and Analysis of Implementation Practices, a landmark research study by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), reveals two key cost drivers for public companies complying with Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) Section 404. “IMA’s study is the first comprehensive study of its kind that goes beyond estimating the cost of compliance.
Tax

Avoid Using “Accounting Gimmicks”

Warren Buffett, the second richest man in America after Bill Gates, told his senior managers at Berkshire Hathaway Inc. in a memo published by FT.com, to resist the temptation to use “accounting gimmicks” to manipulate earnings, Bloomberg.com says. “Every time you hear the phrase ‘Everybody else is doing it’, it should raise a huge red flag,” Buffet wrote.
Tax

SOX Compliance Can Transform Payroll Management

Time tracking in today’s service businesses is central to understanding costs, to the billing process and tracking salary information or paid leave, all issues with important Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) implications, according to Curt Finch , writing for ecommercetimes.com. The Human Resource payroll professionals need to understand how their functions can lead to risk or greater profitability for the company as a whole.

Senior Finance Execs Support SEC Chairman & See Increased Board Scrutiny

The majority of senior finance executives support pension and lease accounting revisions, according to a national survey conducted by Grant Thornton LLP. In another survey, the majority report the Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX) has resulted in increased board scrutiny, while more than half say it has not made it more difficult to recruit directors.

Section 404 Compliance Results in Agenda Re-focus

A survey conducted by the Audit Committee Institute (ACI) of KPMG International and the National Association of Corporate Directors found that although a majority of audit committee members rate their committee as "very effective", some feel improvement can be made-including oversight of accounting judgments and estimates, risk management and agenda setting. While 70 percent of the 317 audit committee members polled rated their committee as "very effective" and nearly 85 percent rated themselves as "very effective" on ensuring the independence of external auditors from management and
Technology

Closely Held Companies Adopting Sarbanes, Increasing Demand for Auditors

Privately owned companies, although not bound by the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), are feeling the effects of the law in specific areas of their businesses, as well as the impact of widespread public commitment to stronger internal controls that the law has helped to create.

SEC, Justice Department Support PCAOB Constitutionality

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S.
A&A

Accounting Insight & Analysis for the Post-SOX Environment

On September 5, 2006, BNA, the largest independent publisher of nonpartisan news and information in Washington, D.C., will launch its new Accounting Policy & Practice Series, providing subscribers in the accounting, legal and financial professions with a new dimension of objective and insightful guidance into decision-making in the post-Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) environment.Advertisement
A&A

BWise Supports COSO Guidelines for Smaller Public Companies

BWise, a leading provider of compliance and enterprise risk management software, on Monday announced support for new guidelines from the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO), entitled Internal Control over Financial Reporting – Guidance for Small Public Companies.Advertisement

More SOX Relief for Smaller Companies, Foreign Private Issuers

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued two releases granting further relief from compliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) to smaller public companies and many foreign private issuers.Advertisement
Practice Management

Travel expense management systems can save time, money

Automated expense management offers real advantages to employees and management, ranging from significant cost savings to companies on travel expense processing to reducing the time it takes for an employee to fill out a spreadsheet expense report or a paper report. The technology is also designed to detect fraud and to document approval processes, which appeals to financial managers focused on Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance.
Practice

Professional Accounting Societies Applaud COSO Small Business Guidance

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Institute of Management Accountants have both affirmed support for new guidance for smaller public companies released during a webcast on July 11 by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO).
Tax

Nonprofits, Government Entities Wearing Their Own SOX

Four years after its enactment, the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) accounting reform law, designed primarily for public company reporting, is having major impact on the nonprofit sector and on state and local governments.“Sarbanes-Oxley’s impact has been far broader than its supporters intended or envisioned,” James K. Gentry, a professor and former dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas, writes in a posting on the businessjournalism.org Web site. The impact has been especially pronounced on nonprofits.
Tax

Finance and Accounting Outsourcing Lags; New Technology May Spur Growth

On shore shared-service centers have taken the lead in performing finance and accounting processes, according to a recent study published by the Hackett Group, a strategic advisory firm, with 58 percent of the companies surveyed using the shared services model, globalservicesmedia.com reports. Only seven percent of companies relied on offshore shared-services centers. Twenty-seven percent of financial processes are still performed in-house or in some decentralized manner, according to the study.

Fed Reserve Delivers Another PCAOB Head

The Federal Reserve has emerged as the breeding ground for oversight of the accounting profession as Federal Reserve Board Governor Mark W. Olson is taking over as the new chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).

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