Responding to corporate failures and fraud that resulted in substantial financial losses to institutional and individual investors, Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002.
Accounting scandals of a number of corporations made it necessary to establish an act therefore the Act Sarbanes Oxley was passed against such companies. As a result, non compliant enterprises have to face penalties such as loss of D & O insurance, imprisonment, heavy fines and lose exchange listing. It is given that investors do not have an interest to invest in non-compliant organizations. In case, CFOs or CEOs give fake certifications, they will face charges of one million dollars fine for their un-willful wrong doing. On the other hand, charges for willful doings are up to five million dollars. In addition to penalties, CEOs and CFOs can be imprisoned for up to ten to twenty years based on the evidence presented.
Section 404 made managers maintain “adequate internal control structure and procedures for financial reporting." Companies' auditors had to “attest” to these controls and disclose “material weaknesses." (Source: "Sarbanes-Oxley," The Economist, July 26, 2007.)
SOX created a new auditor watchdog, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. It set standards for audit reports. It requires all auditors of public companies to register with them. The PCAOB inspects, investigates and enforces compliance from these firms. It prohibits accounting firms from doing business consulting with the companies they are auditing.
Many thought that Sarbanes-Oxley was too punitive and costly to put in place. They worried it would make the United States a less attractive place to do business. In retrospect, it's clear that Sarbanes-Oxley was on the right track. in the contributed to the and the .
Discuss the impact of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on financial reporting and disclosure and assess whether or not you believe it helps provide accurate information to users of financial statements.
Suggest an alternative to regulation for providing accurate financial information to stakeholders.
Impact of the Sarbanes Oxley Act. What Awaits you: On-time delivery guarantee Masters and PhD-level writers Automatic plagiarism check 100% Privacy and Confidentiality High Quality custom-written papers
Write a four page paper in which you:
1. Evaluate the effectiveness of regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley Act over minimizing the corporate fraud and protecting investors and make (1) suggestion for improvement.
2. Given the oversight of the accounting profession by the PCAOB as a result of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, assess the impact on auditing firms and the public accounting professions.
3. Offer your opinion as to whether or not you believe the accounting profession is better off being self or government regulated with regard to a firm’s ability to detect and report corporate fraud.
4. Predict whether or not corporate fraud will be reduced, increase, or remain the same based on requirements for audits of publicly traded companies as prescribed in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Support your position
5. Use at least four quality resources.
Explain the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and its impact on corporate governance. How has it changed the way we do business in the United States? Please include an example to support your viewpoint.
Fraudulent activities in the work place have been on the increase. A survey conducted in New York found out that five percent of the respondent had seen misrepresentation and falsifying of financial and accounting records in their companies in the last 11 months. Research shows that economies and shareholders are losing billions of dollars annually due to misrepresentation of financial records and occupation fraud. In the year 2002, US congress passed Sarbanes-Oxley Act in order to reduce fraudulent activities in the business organizations and restore public trusts in the money markets. The act works by attempting to restore and improve ethics by requiring organizations to disclosure codes that regulate the behavior of senior financial officers. Top managements are required to conform and certify the authenticity and accuracy the financial and accounting information from their companies. Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002 affects the decision making of the business organizations. The essay will focus on how the act affects business ethical decision making and the criminal penalties it provides (Hess, 2009).
Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002 and ethical decision-making
Research shows that most managers are opposed to the act even though they acknowledge its importance and its effectivity in managing the ethical environment of the business organization. Some managers argue that methods used to improve the ethical behavior of the business organizations are costly and ineffective in nature. Some managers argue that the mechanisms provided by the act can lead to unethical and illegal behavior. This is because business organizations can take a compliance program that provide advantages of mitigated sentence under the act’s sentencing guidelines without changing their way of doing things. The goal of the act is to ensure that employees act in away consistent with roles and values of the code and lawfully, secondly, employees report any behavior that breaches the code. Thirdly, the business organization acts to prevent non-compliant behavior among the employees. The issue of ethical decision-making and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002 can be explained using the theory of planned behavior and the theory of reasoned action (Hess, 2009). The two theories explain how the act can influence ethical decision making in the business organizations. According to the theory of planned behavior, there are three determinants of intention of individuals in an organization. These determinants include perceived behavioral control, subjective norm, and attitudes. A research was conducted in order to determine the intentions of managers, chief financial officers, and public accountants in engaging in fraudulent activities or violates GAAP principles. It was discovered that attitude and moral obligations have the greatest impact when it comes to intentions. Based on the theory of planned behavior, any person planning to blow the whistle on financial misrepresentation is likely to be influenced by his or her sense of moral obligation, social pressures to follow the act, and attitude towards the act. Ethical decision making of employees depends on their perceived behavioral control, subjective norm, and attitudes. Research shows that there is a strong evidence linking ethical behavior and the codes. A public accountant or chief financial officer may resist improper request or orders from his seniors due to the existence of the code. The act has raised awareness among the employees about ethical issues. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act shapes the behaviors and decision making of employees in an organization. Since SOX act was passed by the congress, it has increased dialogue about ethics and transformed the business environment in America. The act fosters emergence of culture of ethics in business organizations. Business organizations are socialized to take action rather than discussion in the event of breach of ethical codes. Ethical behavior starts from the management level. Leaders have capability to be role models and motivate others to be emulate their behaviors. The SOX act ensures that the top management strictly adheres to the code of ethics when it comes to leadership and decision-making. The SOX act is making it difficult for small businesses to thrive. This is because of the additional costs that they incur in trying to comply with the act. The costs are related to yearly audits, which the accounting companies pass to its customers. In addition, the audit companies incur liability for time and diligence necessary to complete the audits. Public companies are required to review their internal performance, create an internal track and plan, and create internal control software. Non-compliance of the act attracts steep penalties. Some investors fear investing in USA because of possible direct state regulation through the SOX act (Hess, 2009).
SOX criminal penalties
Individuals who are found falsifying, making false entry, falsifying, cover ups, concealing, mutilation, destroying, altering, documents, records or tangible evidence in order to influence, obstruction, or impede the federal investigations of any agencies in the jurisdiction of USA are liable to not more than 20 years imprisonment. Accountants are required to keep audit review reports for a period of five years from the time the audit review was conducted failure to which they are liable to imprisonment of not more than ten years (Hess, 2009).
Definition: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 cracks down on corporate fraud. It created the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board to oversee the accounting industry. It banned company loans to executives and gave job protection to whistleblowers. The Act strengthens the independence and financial literacy of corporate boards. It holds CEOs personally responsible for errors in accounting audits.