Thursday, April 12, 2007

Oxley: I'm Not Happy with Sarbox - -

Oxley: I'm Not Happy with Sarbox - -
"Section 404, which requires companies and their auditors to examine and report on the processes behind their financial reporting, quickly became the most expensive and hated provision of the act.

Today, Sarbox, and particularly 404, are under heavy attack, as are many of its accessory creations, most notably the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board"
The article in largely an interview with Oxley. Here are a few look-ins:
Why did it start with AS2?
Of the complaints you hear [about Sarbox], 99.9 percent are about 404. It was two paragraphs long, but by the time the PCAOB was done, it was 330 pages of regulations"
and finally
"What do you think of the groups that want to kill Sarbanes-Oxley altogether, arguing it was a bad idea?
....They don't appear to have a whole lot of traction. If you look at total market cap on July 30, 2002, for public companies and today, it is pretty hard to argue that Sox has been a detriment to growth and prosperity. It has provided a certain degree of comfort to the investing public and a confidence level in the investing public has been restored. Markets are more transparent. Accountability is built into the process. A lot of people overlook the requirement that insider deals must be reported in 48 hours. This provision is interesting in light of the backdating scandal. Virtually all cases took place before 2002. Before that, they had up to 90 days to report [stock trades]. I think the transparency will preclude nefarious activity. The statute does get credit for this."

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