Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 Main Aspects of Regulatory Environment That Protect the Public from Fraud Within Corporations,

Diverse global business sectors have been complaining about government regulations as well as their restrictive nature. This is commonly cited as an obstruction to small business and corporate gains, and a waste of valuable effort and time.  This has forced the administrative statutory to be denounced, violated and side-stepped various business starting from early twentieth century while anti-trust laws and income tax were first instigated. Otherwise, this has triggered establishment of various tactics and enactment of immense policies to ensure that global business activities are being conducted normally without being cumbered by diverse barriers. This assignment will specifically concentrate on Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002 hence showing whether it is capable of hindering future frauds (Leuz, 2007).

Read also Regulatory Compliance and Governance – Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) Act (Sections 302, 401, 404, 409, and 802)

SOX endorsement was triggered by series of failures concerning diverse functions designed to safeguard the interests of the investing public. Since SOX was endowed with various highly contentious provisions, it established an entire revision of the regulatory framework for the auditing profession and public accounting and issued guidance for strengthened corporate ascendancy. This was deemed as the most far-reaching legislation impacting public corporations as well as their independent auditors ever since 1930s. Apparently, SOX is broadly credited for strengthening at least two core sectors of investor protection including CFO and CEO accountability and responsibility for entire monetary disclosures and linked controls; as well as heightened engagement and professionalism on the part of corporate audit committees (Leuz, 2007).

Read also Appraise the Reporting Requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act

Otherwise, SOX has been faced by immense criticisms showing how it is ineffective on solving international business governance. Some individuals are deeming SOX as the hardest piece of commercial supremacy legislation which have ever been enacted in business sector. Foremost, the costs and expenses which organizations are encountering due to usage of SOX are viewed to outweigh benefits. For instance, one frequent complaint concerning SOX revolves on the law’s costs coined to its advantages- particularly the cost of submitting to the SOX section 404 that is concerned with interior controls.   In the view of the study conducted soon after SOX start to be employed, the average section 404 compliance costs was amounting in between $4.36 – $7.8 million; and all large firms reportedly confirmed to use more than 10 million dollars (Ribstein, 2002).

Only some view individuals who believe that these expenses shall decline as companies adapt to this law and advance their control systems. On the other hand, the rest people has recognized that despite staying at manageable levels for various organizations, SOX acquiescence expense did not rise in between 2011 and 2012; since not all information reinforced the disagreement that the costs should decline steadily. Also, Protiviti has identified that about 75 percent of the surveyed firms are spending less than one million dollar on SOX compliance, and this is considerably lesser as compared to the amount recorded within the earlier explorations on implementation of section 404 (Ribstein, 2002).

Read also Publicly Traded Companies’ GAAS, PCAOB, COSO, and GAAP Audit Requirements

The other study of costs scrutinized stock price interactions with major SOX-linked legislative occasions, based on the impression that stock returns over major event days must reflect the suggested benefits and the costs of SOX. Based on the fact that U.S. market indicates such events being negative, it is believed that according to these outcomes, SOX is imposing noteworthy net costs. For example, it was noted in 2007 that these kinds of explorations are endowed with methodological barriers, indicating the need of caution in attributing negative outcomes towards SOX and during interpretation of evidence on the SOX’s costs (Zhang, 2007).

Secondly, various financial professionals holds that SOX is endowed with chilling impact on the global firms’ cross listing within American’s markets. In the CPA Journal of March 2007, in between page 32-37; there is clear indication that savings for big companies that flees an American exchange ranking can run to 10 million dollars annually and these kind of ‘refugees’ might also avoid the American legal systems. Similarly, the data harnessed from the system committee based in Capital Markets Regulations has also indicated a great fall in cross-listing within the United States through foreign organizations after the SOX’s passage. Alternatively, delisting through foreign firms from the New York Exchange (NYSE) has also been comparatively steady since 2000, and this is accompanied with the omission of sharp spike by year 2007 (Ribstein, 2002). As a result, any impact of SOX in foreign registrants is viewed to discourage cross-listing, instead of motivating delisting. Also, other individuals argue that the U.S. public markets can also reduce regulatory burdens in trial of regaining their edge, though such notions can be counterproductive and can lead to collapse of the company in the long term. Indeed, the investors always value the stock market’s capability of certifying the listed firms, thus leading to decline in disclosure standards which might harm an exchange’s prestige as well as its capability of attracting high-quality foreign organizations (Zhang, 2007).

Furthermore, SOX has also been argued to have a negative implication on small businesses. At this juncture, the SOX’s directors have stated that compliance costs can decline disproportionately on small businesses. Actually, some small firms have been confirmed going private so as to avoid SOX’s reporting needs. This can be attested through considering the net costs enforced by SOX through analyzing business’s decision to be privatized, with regard to the notion that companies shall avoid the expenses linked with SOX through going private particularly when they outweigh its advantages, and net benefit obtained from being public before SOX. Apparently, the above scenario has provided essential evidence which indicate higher chances of going-private transactions due to the passage of SOX and also indicating that SOX was more costly for less liquid and smaller firms (Hammersley, Myers & Shakespeare, 2008).

Additionally, SOX has also been viewed to have a great impact on auditors. Provided that SOX emanated, in no small part, from an inflammation of high-profile audit malfunctions and that diverse of its provisions are highly affected by the public accounting, then it is appealing that accountants are not among contemporary critics of SOX. The law has authorized CPAs to return to auditing as opposed to consulting. As a result, this can be viewed as a financial detonation for CPA firms emanating from the requirement that accountant audit business’s control and also its books (Ribstein, 2002).

While summing up, this essay has showed that SOX endorsement was triggered by series of failures about dissimilar functions designed to safeguard the interests of the investing public. Moreover, the project has revolved on various issues which provide a clear indication that SOX is not endowed with sufficient capability of protecting fraud in the future. At this juncture, there are immense aspects which have showed its incapability including SOX’s costs outweighing its benefits; having negative implication on auditors; facilitating off-putting factors on small businesses; and having chilling effects on international businesses (Leuz, 2007).

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