Sarbanes-Oxley

A&A

15 Business Performance Management Capabilities for Better Compliance

A new study, Improving Compliance Sustainability with Business Performance Management, from Cartesis and Robert Frances Group, proposes that organizations seeking sustainable financial reporting and regulatory compliance shift their focus to business performance management (BPM) technologies.
Practice Management

CED Releases Recommendations for Improving Corporate Governance

The Committee for Economic Development (CED), a business-led public policy group, on Tuesday released a policy statement examining the state of corporate governance in the U.S.
Community News

PCAOB Find Their Audit Concerns Addressed

The Big Four accounting firms criticized in the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s (PCAOB) first-ever regulatory report cards issued in 2004, have made progress addressing their “significant accounting and audit issues”, according to Marketwatch. If the firms had not addressed these problems cited within 12 months of the issuance of their report cards, the confidential portions of their reports would have been made public.
Community News

H&R Block Owes More Taxes

H&R Block underestimated its own “state effective income tax rate” in previous quarters, all the way back to 2004, and has been found to owe another $32 million in back taxes. The company has cut its full-year 2006 earnings in response to this charge.

PCAOB & Sarbanes-Oxley Under Fire

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is being challenged, constitutionally. The complaint was filed last week in U.S. District Court in Washington by the Free Enterprise Fund and the accounting firm of Beckstead & Watts, according to BusinessWeek. The PCAOB was created in 2002 and has since been the target of those saying it wielded too much unchecked power. The legal team includes Ken Starr, former independent counsel in the Monica Lewinsky investigation in the second Clinton Administration and Viet Dinh, former U.S.
Technology

SEC Ponders: Is XBRL At Tipping Point

After seven years of fits and starts, the EXtensible Business Reporting Markup Language (XBRL) software code being developed by an accounting profession-led group, is raising the question of whether its has finally reached the “tipping point” of necessary market acceptance, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) Chief Information Officer Corey Booth.The SEC, which would clearly like to see XBRL become the standard reporting format for public companies, is grappling to determine if the programming code can ever make it over the tipping point and reach the cr

SEC’s EDGAR Database RFP Cites XBRL in the Future

In seeking a new manager for its Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval (EDGAR) database, the Securities and Exchange Commission has widely opened the door for that system to use the eXtensible Business Reporting Markup Language (XBRL) software code being developed by an accounting profession-led group.
Practice Management

Auto Industry Gets New Tool for Managing Assets Wirelessly

Last week, hidden among the bad news emanating from the American auto industry, a ray of hope emerged. WhereNet Corporation announced a first-of-its-kind program offering suppliers a low-risk method for evaluating the company’s active RFID-based Real-Time Locating System (RTLS) technology applications specifically tailored for the automotive industry. Leading industry analysts agree that automotive manufacturers need to fundamentally change their business processes by embracing RFID and improving asset management.
Education & Careers

Corporate Fraud, Regulation and Ethics

With new laws and regulations, short-term financial goals continue to drive corporate decision-making creating pressure and motive for accounting fraud, according to the Washington Post. The simple fact is that regulators cannot pass laws that force corporate executives to act with integrity or prompt investors to do their research before buying stock and other investments. For the first time in some 70 years, accountants, serving as gatekeepers, face independent oversight. “The profession has taken a bit of a bloody nose in the last few years,” Chester J.
A&A

Bracing for SOX 404 Small Business Exemption

Exempting smaller publicly-traded companies from the onerous 404 section of the Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) accounting reform law, -- a prospect being pondered by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) –may cause some CPA firms to reposition resources.Charles Jones, a partner with the Marshall Jones & Co. CPA firm in Atlanta and operator of a 404 boutique practice, said that group is already planning to shift its focus from 404 compliance to helping smaller companies with their internal audits.

Enron’s Lasting Influence

With the former Enron executives finally coming to trial, we are reminded again of the long shadow cast by the implosion of the company that helped enact the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act of 2002. Section 404 has added teeth to SOX, making regulation more expensive and staff intensive and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has been created to aid in the governance and enforcement of the accounting industry.
A&A

SOX and Environmental Reporting

The EPA reports that companies, governments and other entities, are required to spend a record $10 billion to come into compliance with environmental laws as a result of enforcement actions in 2005. A record 627 entities voluntarily disclosed violations and more than 600,000 businesses and individuals received EPA assistance in understanding and complying with environmental laws.
A&A

CPA Firms Brace for SOX 404 Small Biz Exemption

Exempting smaller publicly-traded companies from the onerous 404 section of the Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) accounting reform law, -- a prospect being pondered by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) –may cause some CPA firms to reposition resources.Charles Jones, a partner with Marshall Jones & Co. CPA firm in Atlanta and operator of a 404 boutique practice, says that group is already planning to shift its focus from 404 compliance to helping smaller companies with their internal audits.

SOX Section 404 Backlash

Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) has been law since July 2002 and the collapses and financial carnage created by Enron, Tyco International, WorldCom, Adelphia Communications, HealthSouth, and Cendant, may have lost their prominence in people’s minds. Bloomberg reports executives are becoming more vocal that SOX has become an overzealous exercise to contain and detect corporate corruption. Section 404 is the current battlefield. “I would like to see it opened and revised. Sarbanes-Oxley has become extraordinarily expensive,” said David Chavern, vice president of capital markets at the U.S.
Technology

2006: The Year IT Spending on SOX Compliance Kicks In

With their businesses processes in place to support compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and other countries’ financial reporting regulations, corporations will significantly increase their spending on the technology needed to support those compliance processes and other corporate governance matters, reports technology industry analysts Gartner Inc. Compliance and corporate governance systems will account for 10 to 15 percent of businesses’ total information technology (IT) budgets in 2006, up from less than 5 percent in 2004, according to the Stamford, Conn.-based company.

Challenges of Section 404 Compliance

Compliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) is required in 2006. A report by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) states that both accounting firms and the public companies they audit will face “enormous challenges” this year as reported in CFO.com. This section of SOX requires that companies document their internal controls. “It is clear to us that the internal control assessment and audit process has the potential to significantly improve the quality and reliability of financial reporting.
A&A

Majority of Small Businesses Want Separate SOX Standards

More than two-thirds of small businesses favor differing standards of Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) regulation for small and large firms according to a recent study commissioned by SAP America, Inc. The study also revealed that SOX regulation has made it more difficult for nearly half of all small businesses to successfully conduct business. Ten percent of companies surveyed intend to ignore SOX regulation in anticipation of an eventual appeal for small and mid-sized enterprises.
Community News

Congressman Oxley to Retire in 2006

Representative Michael Oxley, the Ohio Republican and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee said Tuesday that he will retire from Congress at the end of his term. Co-sponsor of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, Oxley has served since 2001 as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, which oversees banking, securities and insurance matters, the Associated Press reports. The Financial Services Committee conducted the House investigation of Enron Corporation. Rep.

Internal Audit Departments Seeking New Balance

For two years, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) has been the central, and some would say only, focus of internal audit departments at public companies throughout the U.S.. A new survey by Protiviti Inc. shows that focus may be shifting as three out of four participating companies see the need or are already taking steps to balance SOX compliance with other risk management priorities.

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