Sarbanes-Oxley, Fair Value, and What Counts

Sep 11th 2009
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We received the following information from Jonathan Jachym and Leigh Stapleton of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The message is directed at small public companies (i.e. non-accelerated filers, generally defined as those with less than $75 million market cap).

"The U.S. Chamber’s Center for Capital Market’s Competitiveness is conducting an on-line survey to compile data on the projected costs of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Section 404(b) and its impact on smaller public companies, defined in SEC rules as “non-accelerated filers”.

Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404(b) requires the external auditor to report on the adequacy of the company’s internal control over financial reporting.

In 2007 the Chamber released a similar study, which showed that compliance with Section 404(b) would disproportionately burden small businesses. That study was part of a successful effort to delay compliance with 404(b) for a full year.

Please take a moment to complete the brief survey of eight questions that will inform Capitol Hill and The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the impacts that Section 404(b) will have on small business. We appreciate your time and effort in this regard. Here is the link to the U.S. Chamber's online survey on Sarbox 404(b) . The survey will be available until next Friday, September 18."

Please note FEI is not conducting the above-referenced survey, we are simply sharing the above information about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey. If you have any questions about the U.S. Chamber's survey, contact Jonathan L. Jachym, Legal and Regulatory Counsel, Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, U.S. Chamber of Commerce [email protected].

The most recent survey conducted by FEI relating to audit fees generally was published earlier this year; see FEI's June 3, 2009 press release ; full survey results can be obtained from the Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF) bookstore .

ABA Asks Geithner, Bernanke to Raise Fair Value Acctg At G-20
WebCPA reported earlier today: Bankers Want G-20 To Rein In FASB, IASB . The article notes:

"The American Bankers Association has written to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke asking them to raise accounting issues at the upcoming G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh in order to curb efforts by standard-setters to expand mark-to-market accounting to loans and debt instruments. In the letter, ABA president and CEO Edward Yingling claimed that the mark-to-market accounting changes proposed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board are at odds with the changes recommended by the G-20 in a statement last week.

'Most experts, including banking leaders, believe that repairs are needed to the accounting model, particularly in the area of provisioning for loan losses,” wrote Yingling. However, he argued that the FASB and IASB proposals go too far and “would undermine the G-20’s efforts to strengthen the financial system.'”

Remembering 9/11
I feel like no post today would be complete without saying something about 9/11. (These are my views only, see disclaimer in the right margin of this blog.) Perhaps the moment of silence itself which took place earlier today is the most important thing that can be said, if one uses that time and other times to consider the enormity of the losses due to the terrorist attacks carried out by hijacking four planes that brought down One and Two World Trade Center, crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, DC and crashed in Shanksville, PA, that fateful day in 2001. Time spent during such a moment of silence and some time spent during the rest of the year can be used in contemplation of whatever is within one's power though one's personal and family life, job, or service to one's country and home town, to help prevent such tragic events in the future, and to protect and rescue those impacted by such events. Here's coverage of memorial events taking place today as noted in the New York Times , Washington Post , and The Daily American of Somerset County, PA .

Read additional details on Sarbanes-Oxley, fair value, and what counts here .


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