The main objective of the Sarbanes-Oxley act was to reduce fraud. So far that objective seem to have been obtain. Since SOX was enacted, there has not been a major domestic corporate financial scandal uncovered other than the options back-dating scandal that occurred before July 2002 (Jahmani & Dowling, 2008). It is a tax advantage because companies and investors are not losing money.
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.
SOX enactment is an act that was formulated as a result of corporate scandals from Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia, and Tyco. However, Congress succumbed to pressure from the public for the government to take action about the unethical behavior of company executives of publicly –traded companies. Thus, the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) was to restore the integrity and public confidence in financial markets. During these scandals, there were flagrant disregard to Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP). For example, according to Washington Post (2005), WorldCom
The purpose of this memo is to provide you with information on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX Act) and to describe the importance of its implementation, per your request. The SOX Act was first introduced in the house as the “Corporate and Auditing Accountability, Responsibility, and Transparency Act of 2002” by Michael Oxley on February 14, 2002. Paul Sarbanes, a Democrat U.S. Senator, collaborated with Mr. Oxley, a Republican US Senator, creating significant bipartisan support. The SOX Act was enacted by the end of July 2002 in response to recent corporate accounting scandals. The twin scandals that were impetus for the legislation involved the corporations of Enron and WorldCom.
A major impetus behind the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was deliberate financial statement fraud. When committed on a large scale, billions of dollars can be lost and investor confidence in financial market will be reduced. Evidence suggests that the incidence of fraud has declined relative to the pre-SOX era. This can only be interpreted as suggesting that SOX
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was passes in 2002 in response to a handful of large corporate scandals that occurred between the years 2000 to 2002, resulting in the losses of billions of dollars by investors. Enron, Worldcom and Tyco are probably the most well known companies that were involved in these scandals, but there were a number of other companies guilty of such things as well. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was passed as a way to crackdown on corporations by setting new and improved standards that all United States’ public companies and accounting firms were and are required to abide by. It also works to hold top level executives accountable for the company, and if fraudulent behaviors are discovered then the executives could find themselves in hot water. The punishments for such fraudulence could be as serious as 20 years jail time. (Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 2014). The primary motivation for the act was to prevent future scandals from happening, or at least, make it much more difficult for them to happen. The act was also passed largely to protect the people—the shareholders—from corporations, their executives, and their boards of directors. Critics tend to argue that the act is to complicated, and costs to much to abide by, leading to the United States losing its “competitive edge” in the global marketplace (Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 2014). The Sarbanes-Oxley act, like most things, has its pros and cons. It is costly; studies have shown that this act has cost companies millions of
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act. An act passed by U.S. Congress in 2002 to protect investors and the general public from the possibility of accounting errors and fraudulent practices by corporations. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), named after U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes and U.S. Representative Michael G. Oxley, which contains eleven sections, mandated strict reforms to improve financial disclosures and prevent accounting fraud. The eleven sections of the bill cover responsibilities of a public corporation’s board of directors, adds criminal penalties for certain misconduct, and also requires the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to create regulations to define how public corporations are to comply with the law. SOX other main purpose is also
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, also known as the SOX Act, was created in response to the series of misleading and outright fraudulent activity of big business in 1990s (Lasher, 2008, p. 187). Multiple publicly-traded businesses raised up their stock prices by “publishing false or deceptive financial statements” (Lasher, 2008, p. 187). The most notable company to crash were Enron, WorldCom and Tyco. Eventually almost one thousand publicly traded companies restated their financial statements which resulted in almost $6 trillion of stock market value disappearing (Lasher, 2008, p. 187). In response to these events, Congress drafted and passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002.
The Sarbanes Oxley Act came to existence after numerous scandals on financial misappropriation and inaccurate accounting records. The nature of scandals made it clear there are possible measure that could be used to prevent future occurrence of financial scandals. And the existence and effectiveness of Sarbanes Oxley has caused
After the quick demise of Enron, governing and regulating businesses had to modify so that such an event like this would never happen again. Once Enron was exposed, a new federal law came into place known as the Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX) . This law aims to public accounting firms that participate in audits for other corporations to ensure corporations are following accurate accounting practices and reliability of appropriate disclosures. SOX also strengthens corporate governance rules, requirements needed to report to shareholders, strengthening whistleblowers, increasing penalties for any dishonesty and holding executives accountable.
In July of 2002, Congress swiftly passed the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investors Protection Act at the time when corporations like Arthur Anderson, Enron and WorldCom fell due to fraudulent accounting practices and bad internal control. This bill, sponsored by Mike Oxley (R-OH) and Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), became known as Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX).It sought to restore public confidence in publicly traded companies and their accounting practices, though the companies listed above were prosecuted on laws that were already in place before SOX. Many studies have examined the effects of SOX on corporations in the past eleven years. The benefits are hard to quantify and the cost are rather hard to estimate including the
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, enacted as a reaction to the WorldCom, Enron, and other corporate scandals, improved the regulatory protections presented to U.S. investors by adding an audit committee requirement, intensification of auditor independence, increasing disclosure requirements, prohibiting loans to executives, adding a certification requirement, and strengthening criminal and civil penalties for violations of securities laws.
Last, I feel that with my mentioning Sarbanes-Oxley at the helm of its glory, it would be incomplete if I did not mention their need to create in August of 2012; the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). They published a new standard which focused deeply on communications with the audit committee. Their target and primary aim was to improve audit quality by emphasizing an effective two-way communication on matters of great importance to the audit and the financial statements (Sweeney, 2012).
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 confidence in securities of US market. Following these series of failures, SOX was enacted to restore investor’s confidence which was rattled and to prevent accounting frauds in the future with improved corporate governance and accountability which all public companies must comply. SOX was named after Senator Paul Sarbanes and Representative Michael G. Oxley, who were the main drafters of the Act. It was approved by the House of Representatives and signed into law by the President George W. Bush on July 30, 2003. Lack of ethics and integrity seem to be the key factors that caused accounting fraud. SOX revised the framework for the public accounting and auditing profession, provides guidance for better corporate governance and create regulations to define how public companies are to comply with the law. Although many have questioned
Sarbanes Oxley (also known as SOX) is legislation passed by the United States Congress in 2002, in the wake of a number of major corporate accounting scandals. Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, and others cost investors billions when their stock prices collapsed. As a result of SOX, top management must separately certify the accuracy of financial Furthermore, consequences for fraudulent financial activity are much more severe. Also, SOX intensified the management role of boards of directors and the independence of the external auditors who review the accuracy of corporate financial statements. The primary changes caused the formation of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the assessment of personal liability to auditors, executives and board members and creation of the Section 404, which recognized internal control events that had not existed before the legislation.