27 April 2004

Who's in Charge of Sarbox Compliance?

Who's in Charge of Sarbox Compliance?:

Larger companies are split on whether to appoint a single Sarbox compliance officer; many smaller companies hand the task to the internal-audit department.

Stephen Taub, CFO.com

Who's minding the store when it comes to corporate compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act?

The answer apparently depends on the size of the company, according to a new survey from Parson Consulting. While 25 percent of larger companies favor a single Sarbox compliance officer, another 25 percent believe the task should be spread across all senior management. Among smaller companies, 40 percent say their internal-audit departments should handle compliance. Across both segment sizes, 20 percent of respondents were undecided.

The two camps are split on other compliance-related issues, according to the consulting firm. For instance, larger companies rely on software more than smaller companies do when preparing to meet Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 compliance deadlines.

Under Section 404, CFOs and chief executive officers must sign off on the effectiveness of their companies' internal controls involving finance. After two Securities and Exchange Commission postponements, the provision is slated to go into effect in November."

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