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fallout of high profile cases like ENRON, Inc., TYCO

Most of us are familiar with the fallout of high profile cases like ENRON, Inc., TYCO, and World Com. Congress, in an effort to stop the decline of corporate reinvention of accounting principles, passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 ("SOX").
To the extent you are familiar with the act, do you think the reaction of Congress was ill advised, or needed? Has your employer felt the impact of this Act?
Audit Companies have new restrictions on conflict of interest with their clients. Here is a little item from a text on the matter:
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002:
Auditor Independence Standards
When Congress studied the causes of financial statement irregularities in 2002, it became convinced that some auditors failed to challenge their clients' financial reporting practices for fear that the audit firms would lose lucrative consulting contracts with the clients. The belief was that firms undercharged for audit services to acquire valuable consulting clients. To ensure that audit firms are free from conflict-of-interest and lack of independence
charges that can undermine the quality of their audits, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) bans most types of services by audit firms for audit clients, including:
? Bookkeeping.
? Financial information system design.
? Appraisal or valuation services.
? Actuarial services.
? Internal audit outsourcing.
? Management or human resource services.
? Broker, dealer, investment banker, and investment adviser services.
? Legal and expert services related to the audit.
? Other services as determined by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.
The PCAOB also has power on a case-by-case basis to exempt services performed by an audit firm for an audit client.
An audit firm may provide permissible nonaudit services for an audit client, such as tax services, only if the client's audit committee approves the services in advance.
In addition, SOX requires that the audit partner-in-charge be rotated every five years at a minimum. SOX also charges the General Accounting Office to study whether all public
companies should be required to rotate audit firms on a regular basis. Finally, no audit firm may audit a public company that within the past year has hired an audit firm employee as a
CEO, CFO, or CAO.

This may give you an idea of the detail of SOX in restricting activities. Corporations criticize this scrutiny, as being oppressive. Is it?

Solution Preview

Most of us are familiar with the fallout of high profile cases like ENRON, Inc., TYCO, and World Com. Congress, in an effort to stop the decline of corporate reinvention of accounting principles, passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 ("SOX").
To the extent you are familiar with the act, do you think the reaction of Congress was ill advised, or needed? Has your employer felt the impact of this Act?
Audit Companies have new restrictions on conflict of interest with their clients. Here is a little item from a text on the matter:
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002:
Auditor Independence Standards
When Congress studied the causes of financial statement irregularities in 2002, it became convinced that some auditors failed to challenge their clients' financial reporting practices for fear that the audit firms would lose lucrative consulting contracts with the clients. The belief was that firms undercharged for audit services to acquire valuable consulting clients. To ensure that audit firms are free from conflict-of-interest and lack of independence
charges that can undermine the quality of their audits, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) bans most types of services by audit firms for audit clients, including:
? Bookkeeping.
? Financial information ...

Solution Summary

Fallout of high profile cases like ENRON, Inc., TYCO, and World Com is discussed very comprehensively in this explanation.

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