The Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002 or SOX for short is further regulation of the secondary market by requiring further internal controls within companies and extensive audit practices. The Sarbanes Oxley Act 2002 resulted from several accounting scandals that plagued the early 2000s such as Enron, Tyco, Worldcom, and several others.
Bi-partisan legislation by Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) and Michael Oxley (R-OH) created the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The creation of SOX regulation was a result of investors mistrust in the market place after several scandals were revealed in the market. Consider Sarbanes Oxley an extension of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Sarbanes-Oxley is most known for the creation of the PCAOB, an extension of the SEC, who regulate accounting firms who audit companies. They also emphasize internal controls within businesses. These internal controls and audits involved regulation over not just employees, but both board members and management who neglected their duties. Separation of duties became a big factor in the regulation and rotation of tasks. As a result, no one employee would be able to keep a scandal going for very long.
After, SOX was put into place there became a concern by some after several years that it was too regulatory. And the costs associated with the new regulations were too high to maintain. It has thus been argued that there needs to be a softened form of Sarbanes Oxley as to prevent movement away from U.S. markets as well as to reduce a barrier to entry formed from entering the market. However, the US recently revisited the law in June 2010, and it is still fully operative.
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