Effects of Sarbanes-Oxley Act

Topics: Corporate governance, Corporation, Law Pages: 6 (1941 words) Published: June 4, 2006
This paper provides an in-depth evaluation of Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which is said to be promoted to produce change in the corporate environment, in general, by stressing issues of public accountability and disclosure in the financial operations of business. It explains how this is an Act that represents the government's and the Security and Exchange Commission's concern in promoting ethical standards in terms of financial disclosure in the corporate environment. This paper addresses the current criticism of the exportation of U.S. corporate governance norms under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, focusing on the application of the audit committee requirement to foreign issuers from European countries with codetermination laws, and the prevention of loans to executives with respect to German issuers. In reply to such criticism, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has already granted foreign issuers several limited exemptions from the Act, as well as an exemption dealing with the audit committee independence requirement, motivated by the desire to reattract foreign companies that canceled listings in the U.S. in response to the Act. This paper provides additional legal and economic justifications favoring the exclusion of foreign companies from the audit committee and loan prohibition requirements. Corporate greed and corruption has altered the face of American business forever. Corporate greed was the primary reason in the downfall of Global Crossing, Enron and MCI WorldCom. The paper shows that the governing bodies, the Senate, NASD, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other powers that be decided to act and in 2002, the Senate introduced the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The paper discussed how this new law impacts CPA's, CPA firms auditing public firms, publicly traded firms and their employees. The paper looks at the mission and purpose of the law and examines its affect on the accounting industry. GENERAL DISCUSSION

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. The Act was criticized for being made appropriate to all foreign issuers listed on a U.S. exchange, even though several of the behavior the Act targeted was either a non-issue in foreign countries or was already efficiently regulated. According to Fraser, I. (Oct., 2002) this broad extraterritorial scope is particularly problematic given that the SEC has encouraged foreign issuers to enter U.S. capital markets by providing several accommodations to foreign practices and polices not inconsistent with the protection of U.S. investors. Foreign companies dispute that, as of the end of 2001, more than 1,300 foreign issuers had entered U.S. capital markets and became reporting companies in reliance on the SEC's accommodations. According to Bostelman, J. T. (2004), not all of the Sarbanes-Oxley provisions are controversial for foreign issuers. Provisions consistent with foreign regulation and which do not entail additional burdens on foreign issuers, for instance the executive certification requirement, have not raised much publicity. At the same time, provisions attempting to entail additional burdens in areas in which foreign issuers are already regulated by their country of incorporation have involved more criticism. Along with the provisions imposing additional burdens on foreign issuers, the mainly debated one is the provision requiring an independent audit committee. As explained by Silverman, L. N., (Sept., 2003), issuers incorporated under civil law regimes dislike this provision for the reason that it indirectly strengthens labor's bargaining power by giving...

References: Fraser, I. (Oct., 2002) Witch-Hunt on Wall Street, SUNDAY HERALD (Scotland), at 5, available at 2002 WL 101044253 ("[N]on-U.S. companies complain that the Act is unwarranted, time-consuming and a costly interference in their affairs when they believe there are adequate investor safeguards in place already.").
Green, S. (Feb., 2004) "Manager 's Guide to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act: Improving Internal Controls to Prevent Fraud" Need help ensuring the company will comply with Sarbanes-Oxley? Armed with this hands-on guide, you can detect early signs of fraud and operational loss, and safeguard your job, your employees ' jobs, and the long-term success of your company. Don 't let fraud derail your career. Protect yourself with the fail-safe Control Smart method found in Manager 's Guide to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Order your copy today!
Bostelman, J. T. (Jan., 2004) "PLI 's Guide to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for Business Professionals: Directors, Officers, Accountants, Financial Advisors, Lawyers (Practising Law Institute)" Tailored to give business professionals and their staffs precisely what they need to know about this regulatory sea change, PLI 's Guide to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for Business Professionals concisely explains the governance, disclosure, reporting, and record-keeping reforms reflected in many new SEC, NYSE, and NASD rules.
Silverman, Leslie N., (Sept., 2003) "The Sarbanes-Oxley Act: Analysis and Practice "... I SARBANES-OXLEY ACT: OVERVIEW AND IMPLEMENTATION on July 30, 2002, President Bush signed into law the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (the "Sarbanes-Oxley Act" or the "Act"). ' The ..."
Holt, M. (Nov., 2005) "Sarbanes-Oxley Act (CIMA Professional Handbook)"The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is a mandatory requirement for all corporations listed in the US. Compliance is not an option. This book is written as a working manual for the senior management to grasp the Act and its implications.
Osheroff, M. (May, 2004)"The new internal auditing rules. (Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002)(Book Review): An article from: Strategic Finance" This digital document is an article from Strategic Finance, published by Institute of Management Accountants on May 1, 2004. The length of the article is 1012 words. The page length shown above is based on a typical 300-word page. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available in your Amazon.com Digital Locker immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.
Prentice, R. A. (Nov., 2004) "Guide to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act: What Business Needs to Know Now That it is Implemented" Enron was once the seventh largest company on the Fortune 500, but after the greatest business scandal of a generation and one of the biggest of the last century, Enron took bankruptcy and essentially blinked out of existence following a wave of revelations of accounting regularities and securities fraud.
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