Two years of compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) have shored up corporate accounting practices – but with lopsided costs compared to benefits gained. That´s the general consensus of a wide range of business executives and auditors who gathered Wednesday in Washington, D.C., for an all-day roundtable hosted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).
The SEC and PCAOB arranged the roundtable to solicit feedback about Section 404 of the legislation, which requires companies to attest to the effectiveness of internal controls put in place to protect financial reporting systems and processes.
“The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was a critical step in addressing an unprecedented string of corporate scandals that were rooted in very serious governance, accounting and audit failures,” said SEC Chairman Christopher Cox in his opening remarks. Section 404 has the potential to improve the accuracy and reliability of financial reporting – but only if it´s implemented properly, Cox said. “In practice it hasn´t always worked out that way,” he acknowledged.Read Full Story