The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

4779 Words Feb 3rd, 2009 20 Pages
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.

Viewed as the most significant change to securities laws since the 1934 the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (also known as SARBOX or SOX) sought to address
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Exceptions can be approved by the Board and are made in cases where the revenue paid for such services contributes less than 5% of revenues paid to the auditing firm. Also, a public accounting firm may provide these non-audit services along with audit services if it is pre-approved by the audit committee of the public company. The audit committee will disclose to investors in periodic reports its decision to approve the performance of non-audit services and audit services by the same accounting firm. This requirement to disclose to investors is likely to inhibit auditing committees from approving the performance of auditing and non-auditing services by the same accounting firm. Other sections outline audit partner rotations, accounting firm reporting procedures, and executive officer independence. Specifically, subsection 206 states that the CEO, Controller, CFO, Chief Accounting Officer or similarly positioned employees cannot have been employed by the company's audit firm for one year prior to the audit.

Section three defines corporate responsibility. It first creates public company audit committees consisting of board members who cannot receive payments