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Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002

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THE SARBANES OXLEY ACT of 2002

The Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002 was signed into law after a series of corporate financial scandals affected companies such as Enron, WorldCom, and Arthur Anderson. It provides a solid set of government rules that will discourage and punish corporate and accounting fraud and corruption by imposing severe penalties for wrongdoers, while protecting the interest of workers and shareholders. Acknowledged as the most significant change to securities laws since 1934, the Sarbanes Oxley Act, a new penal law, 18 U.S.C. $1348, became effective on July 30, 2002. The Act contains reforms for issuers of publicly traded securities, corporate board members, auditors, and lawyers. It was designed to improve the quality of financial reporting, accounting services, and independent audits (Zameeruddin, 2005). The provisions of the act apply to U.S. companies that are required to file annual reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as well as foreign companies that that are listed in the U.S. or are obligated to report to the SEC periodically. Title I of the Sarbanes Oxley Act stipulates that a new Public Company Accounting Oversight Board will be appointed and overseen by the SEC. The Board, which is made up of five full-time members, will oversee and investigate the audits and auditors of public companies and penalize for violations of laws, regulations, and rules. It is funded by fees to be paid by all public companies.

The Board has the authority to set accounting standards and conduct annual quality reviews. The SEC will appoint the chairperson and other members of the board and members are not allowed to engage in any other professional or business activity while serving on the board. Prior to the Act, a common loophole for executive officers was that they did not sign off on company…...

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