Enron Section 404

Decent Essays
The Rising Cost of Implementing Section 404

Prior to the 2002 scandal of Enron, the standards for financial reporting were much more relax than the regulations that businesses encounter today. The Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002(SOX) came into play as a response to the unruly financial reporting to the public from companies such as Enron, Arthur Andersen, Tyco and WorldCom. The public scandals created insecurities for any American to invest in big companies, due to fear of additional fraud encounters. The Sarbanes Oxley Act was enacted to try create some trust between these big companies and the hardworking individuals who were investing in them. The fraud scandals were front page news stories and the government hoped that passing this legislation
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To execute this plan, it sets requirements for Executive Officers, guidelines for tipsters and procedures for all employees. Specifically, section 404 of SOX works towards fraud prevention by enforcing procedures. This section holds company management and their external audits accountable for regulating the internal controls, and ensuring any material weaknesses or deficiencies are disclosed. The requirements for proper disclosure includes reporting any material change that could change the mind of investor. The company should provide reasonable assurance that details accurately and fairly reflect actual transactions in the business, they comply with GAAP and they are finding unauthorized transactions in a timely manner. Keeping in mind, the primary purpose of the implementation and continual regulation of the internal controls is to prevent fraud. Without the presence of effective and reliable internal controls, companies are susceptible to fraudulent activities. The punishment for failing to provide of the required disclosures includes $5 million fine and up to 20 years in prison. In addition to the increase in severity of punishment, businesses have also felt the raising costs associated with section 404
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