Accounting Information Systems Research Paper

Topics: Internal control, Auditing, Financial audit Pages: 14 (3018 words) Published: May 30, 2014


Accounting Information Systems Research Paper

Abstract
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) was enacted into law in 2002 in the wake of corporation financial reporting scandals involving large publicly held companies. SOX instituted new strict financial regulations with the intent of improving accounting practices and protecting investors from corporate misconduct. SOX requires corporate executives to vouch for the accuracy of financial statements, and to institute and monitor effective internal controls over financial reporting. The cost of implementing an effective internal control structure are onerous, and SOX inflicts opportunity costs upon an enterprise as executives have become more risk adverse due to fears of incrimination. The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) was created by SOX to oversee the accounting process and dictate independence requirements for auditors and auditing committees. The PCAOB proposed regulations must be approved by the SEC before they are enacted. Since the passage of SOX, the IT department has become critical in designing and implementing the internal controls in company accounting information systems. The Information Technology Governance Institute (ITGI) created a framework called Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT) to provide guidance for companies to implement and monitor IT governance.

Accounting Information Systems Research Paper
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 changed the landscape of corporate financial reporting and auditing. In the wake of corporate reporting scandals, Congress decided the accounting profession was unable to self-regulate, and The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was signed into law. The law addresses corporate greed and dishonesty by requiring companies to implement extensive internal control procedures to deter fraud and hold corporate executives accountable. The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board is the enforcement arm of the legislation, and is under the authority of the SEC to oversee accounting and auditing processes. Public companies are required integrate internal controls in their accounting information systems to ensure data validity and security. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

In the aftermath of several corporate financial reporting scandals involving large publicly held companies such as Enron, WorldCom, and Tyco, the United States Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and enacted it into law on July 30, 2002. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) takes its name from its two primary congressional sponsors, Representative Michael Oxley (R-OH) and Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) (Hoffman, 2005, p. 3). SOX instituted new strict financial regulations with the intent of improving accounting practices and protecting investors from corporate misconduct. The law is intended to protect stakeholders from corporate greed, fraud, and misleading financial reporting. SOX legislation tackles several important concerns including corporate responsibility, internal controls, auditor independence, financial disclosures, criminal and fraud liability, conflicts of interest, and corporate tax returns (Moffett and Grant, 2011, p. 3). Under the law, independent auditors and corporate officers of publicly traded companies must affirm both the accuracy of the financial statements and their supporting processes and data (Hoffman, 2005, p. 3). The law requires corporate officers to vouch for the effectiveness of the company’s internal controls and to be honest and transparent in financial reporting. SOX is organized under eleven titles, with the majority of the compliance principles written under sections 302, 401, 404, and 409 (A Guide to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 2006). Section 302 requires company officers to certify the truthfulness and completeness of quarterly and annual reports. Additionally, the signing officers are responsible for...

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