The Sarbanes Oxley Act Of 2002

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The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, also known as the SOX Act, is enacted on July 30, 2002 by Congress as a result of some major accounting frauds such as Enron and WorldCom. The main objective of this act is to recover the investors’ trust in the stock market, and to prevent and detect corporate accounting fraud. I will discuss the background of Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and why it became necessary in the first section of this paper. The second section will be the act’s regulations for the management, external auditors, and companies, mainly publicly-traded companies, and the cost and benefits of the act. The last section will be the discussion of the quality of financial reporting since SOX and the effectiveness of SOX provisions to prevent another financial statements fraud, such as Enron and WorldCom from occurring in the future.
Before SOX was established, the public trusted and depend the auditors wholly for the publicly-traded companies to accurately complete audits of the companies’ financial statements which they relied upon in making investment decisions. The accounting and auditing industry was self-regulated (Cunningham & Harris, 2006). Company managers had little accountability when accounting and auditing problems arose. Everything was changed after there were many high-profile cases of accounting fraud, particularly the scandals of Enron and WorldCom in the early 2000s. Each of these frauds caused massive losses to investors of the companies and the public lost

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