The audit world was transformed more than ten years ago due to a series of accounting scandals. This change took place when The Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002, otherwise known as SOX, was passed affecting not only business entities but also the firms that audit those companies (Thomas). One of the companies whose fraud was unmasked by the passage of SOX was HealthSouth Corporation. A company in the healthcare industry who had overstated about $2.7 billion dollars in earnings since 1996. The company’s CEO, Richard Scrushy, was the first to be tried under SOX for misrepresenting and signing off on misleading financial statements(Accounting Fraud at HealthSouth).
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX), also known as the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act and the Auditing Accountability and Responsibility Act, was signed into law on July 30, 2002, by President George W. Bush as a direct response to the corporate financial scandals of Enron, WorldCom, and Tyco International (Arens & Elders, 2006; King & Case, 2014;Rezaee & Crumbley, 2007). Fraudulent financial activities and substantial audit failures like those of Arthur Andersen and Ernst and Young had destroyed public trust and investor confidence in the accounting profession. The debilitating consequences of these perpetrators and their crimes summoned a massive effort by the government and the accounting profession to fight all forms of corruption through regulatory, legal, auditing, and accounting changes.
This memorandum discusses a brief history of Pat, his wrongdoings and related action, and the response by the related law enforcement agencies.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002Introduction2001-2002 was marked by the Arthur Andersen accounting scandal and the collapse of Enron and WorldCom. Corporate reforms were demanded by the government, the investors and the American public to prevent similar future occurrences. Viewed to be largely a result of failed or poor governance, insufficient disclosure practices, and a lack of satisfactory internal controls, in 2002 George W. Bush signed into law the Sarbanes-Oxley Act that became effective on July 30, 2002. Congress was seeking to set standards and guarantee the accuracy of financial reports.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was devised and designed to protect shareholders, as well as the public, from errors in corporate accounting and fraudulent business practices. All publicly traded companies, no matter their size, are required to comply with the terms of the Act. The Act was not only created to regulate corporate business practices, but also was created with the intention to help gain back the public’s trust in large, publicly traded corporations. The Act helps the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) in regulating companies and making sure these
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush to “mandate a number of reforms to enhance corporate responsibility, enhance financial disclosures and combat corporate and accounting fraud” and applies to all public companies in the U.S., large and small (The Laws That Govern the Securities Industry, 2015). The main purpose of Sarbanes-Oxley is to “eliminate false disclosures” and “prevent undisclosed conflicts of interest between corporations and their analysts, auditors, and attorneys and between corporate directors, officers, and shareholders” (Neghina & Riger, 2009). As a whole, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is very complex and affected organizations must do their due diligence to ensure they
Prior to the advent of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, referred to herein as “SOX,” the board of directors’ pivotal role was to advise senior leaders on the organization’s strategy, business model, and succession planning (Larcker, 2011, p. 3). Additionally, the board had the responsibility for risk management identification and risk mitigation oversight, determining executive benefits, and approval of significant acquisitions (Larcker, 2011, p. 3). Furthermore, for many public organizations, audit committees existed before SOX and provided oversight of internal processes and controls. Melissa Maleske (2012) advised that the roles and responsibilities of the board were viewed “…from a perspective that the board serves management” (p. 2). In contrast, Maleske (2012) noted that SOX regulations altered the landscape “…to a perspective that management is working for the board” (p. 2). SOX expanded not only the duties of the board and the audit committee, but also the authority of these bodies (Maleske, 2012, p. 2).
White collar crime has been around for ages. Today more and more news stories can be found where the elite, the top executives of fortune 500 companies, are being prosecuted for participating in illegal activities. It was hoped that the passing of the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2001 after the Enron debacle would reduce the amount of illegal acts being committed in corporate America. The Sarbanes Oxley act makes executives personally responsible for their activities requiring top management to sign off on financial statements stating they are true and accurate and these executives can face jail time for committing fraudulent acts. Unfortunately, immorality in business is still running rampant. One illegal practice we see happening in
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) was enacted to bring back public trust in markets. Building trust requires ethics within organizations. Through codes of ethics, organizations are put in line to conduct themselves in a manner that promotes public trust. Through defining a code of ethics, organizations can follow, market becomes fair for investors to have confidence in the integrity of the disclosures and financial reports given to them. The code of ethics include “the promotion of honest and ethical conduct, requiring disclosure on the codes that apply to senior financial officers, and including provisions to encourage whistle blowing” (A Business Ethics Perspective on Sarbanes Oxley and the Organizational Sentencing Guidelines). The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was signed into law from public demand for a reform. Even though there are some criticism about it, the act still stands to prevent and punish corporate fraud and malpractice.
Numerous scandals broke out in the early 2000s, losing the trust of investors in the public
According to the textbook, Sarbanes-Oxley Act is a federal statute enacted by Congress to improve corporate governance (Cheeseman, H. R., p.344). It was passed by congress that sets policy and regulates the accounting practices of U.S corporations.
In the history of the United States, we have experienced numerous financial crisis, where millions have been affected. Some of them include the great depression in 1929, World War II, and recently the financial crisis of 2008. The government has tried to learn from these past events and implement new procedures that would prevent from occurring once again. However, it seems like there is always something new to learn from when these type of events occurs. As such, the government always tries to addressed the issues, but in some instances are praised and in some criticized. Two of the most important legislature that have been passed in order to prevent financial crisis and protect the consumers and the economy of the United States are the
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (often shortened to SOX) is legislation passed by the U.S. Congress to protect shareholders and the general public from accounting errors and fraudulent practices in the enterprise, as well as improve the accuracy of corporate disclosures. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) administers the act, which sets deadlines for compliance and publishes rules on requirements.
Congress established the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which is otherwise called the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act, in the beginning of corporate and accounting scandals that prompted liquidations, serious stock misfortunes, and a loss of trust in stocks (Batten, 2010). The demonstration forces new obligations on corporate administration and criminal authorizes on those supervisors who spurn the law, and it
Corporations around the world have exhibited ethical business practices. However, some corporations gave into unethical business practices such as fraud, dishonesty, and scams. One particular dishonest act that remained common amongst companies such as Enron, WorldCom, and Tyco was the fabrication of financial statements. These companies were reporting false information on their financial statements so that it would appear that the companies were making profits. However, those companies were actually losing money instead. Because of these companies’ actions, the call to have American businesses to be regulated under new rules served as a very important need. In 2002, Paul Sarbanes from the Senate and Michael G. Oxley from the House of Representatives created what is now known as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.