Sarbanes-Oxley Continues To Concern Executives

By John S. McClenahen Nearly a year after it was enacted, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, designed to increase the quality of corporate financial reporting, continues to cause serious concern among U.S. business executives. For example, just 30% of 136 CFOs and managing directors at U.S. multinationals interviewed last month for a PricewaterhouseCoopers study had a favorable opinion of the legislation, down from 42% when the same group was interviewed last October. While 91% of the executives in the study said their companies had made changes in their control and compliance practices as a result of the legislation, only 68% were confident that their companies were in compliance with the law. That's down from 82% in October. Meanwhile, board-of-directors members have their own set of Sarbanes-Oxley-related concerns. In a recent survey of about 150 board members by the BPM Forum, just 21% said their companies had allocated funds to deal with the requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley. And only 41.7% of the board members expected "immediate" compliance with the legislation. Some 31.9% said full compliance would be six to twelve months. And 26.4% weren't sure when their companies would be in full compliance.

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