Sarbannes - Oxley Accounting
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sarbannes, oxley, accounting, fraud, law, federal, tax, worldcom, bankruptcy... More...
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The Sarbanes-Oxley Act The purpose of this paper is to address and evaluate the intentionand execution of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act Also called the Public CompanyAccounting Reform and Investor Protection Act it was signed into federallaw by President Bush on July The legislation was drafted inresponse to mounting public concern over the recent upsurge in accountingscandals at high profile organizations Companies such as Enron GlobalCrossing WorldCom and others had declared bankruptcy or come underfederal investigation within a year of one another Giroux p
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Thus, 3 2 effectivelyplaces a great deal of responsibility on the CEO's shoulders. Also called the Public CompanyAccounting Reform and Investor Protection Act, it was signed into federallaw by President Bush on July 3 , 2 2. Similarly, insection 11 7, any corporate officials that actively attempts to retaliateagainst whistleblowers (i.e., anyone "providing to a law enforcementofficer any truthful information relating to the commission or possiblecommission of any Federal offense"), shall "be fined under this title orimprisoned not more than 1 years, or both" (H.R. Essentially, it lays out new accounting standards for selectcompanies and proposes criminal penalties for individuals who fail tocomply with these standards. Section 4 4 has similar requirements to 3 2. Mark-to-market and similar techniqueswere used to exaggerate the value of Enron's reported assets, while itsimultaneously "did not report the obligation for cash received as aliability on the balance sheet" (Giroux, 2 8, p. (2 3, April). Companies such as Enron, GlobalCrossing, WorldCom, and others had declared bankruptcy or come underfederal investigation within a year of one another (Giroux, 2 8, p.12 6). After all, they mustattest to the fact that "based on the officer's knowledge, the report doesnot contain any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state amaterial fact necessary in order to make the statements made, in light ofthe circumstances under which such statements were made, not misleading"(Leech, 2 3, p. 8 2specifically states that those involved in the "destructions of corporateaudit records" or "alteration, or falsification of records in Federalinvestigations and bankruptcy... Just as CEOs must attest tothe soundness of their corporation's accounting practices (as determined by3 2), they must also attest to the fact that their company has taken activesteps toward ensuring their financial accounting complies with federalstandards. Many of the companies were essentially caught cooking the books,using tricky accounting techniques to manipulate their portfolios andinflate the value of their stock. Retrieved April 2, 2 1 from http://ftp.sec.gov/rules/proposed/s74 2/card9415 3.pdfSarbanes-Oxley Act of 2 2, H.R. Card Decisions. Accounting fraud and lessonsfrom the recent scandals. Social Research. A prudent CEO would do the latter. Some of thesections that have had larger implications for the accounting and financialworld (and, as such, will be the focus of this paper) are 3 2, 4 4, 8 2,and 11 7. 3763, § 11 7, 2 2).Thus, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act provides severe penalties for companies thatcook the books and, additionally, for when they try to cover it up byharassing whistleblowers. 12 5-38.Leech, T. It forces issuers offinancial statements to "state responsibility ofmanagement for establishing and maintaining an adequate internal controlstructure and procedures for financial reporting" and "contain anassessment, as of the end of the most recent fiscal year of the issuer, ofthe effectiveness of the internal control structure and procedures of theissuer for financial reporting" (Leech, 2 3, p. 4, pp. 75, No. To this end, they must either trust that theiraccountant is ethically doing their job or make certain it is truethemselves. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is actually quite extensive, as it is comprised ofeleven primary sections, each with numerous provisions. A white paper proposing practical, costeffective compliance strategies. By requiring CEOs to have to sign, and therebyauthorize, the accuracy of accounting disclosures issued to the government,this makes CEOs liable for any potential malpractice. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act The purpose of this paper is to address and evaluate the intentionand execution of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Businesses are nowsubject to tighter government regulation in regard to their accountingpractices, which, in turn, has created a corporate culture of transparencyand accountability to pertinent stakeholders. Sections 8 2 and 11 7 effectively outline criminal consequences forcompanies that deviate from the dictates of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Retrieved April 2,2 1 from http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=1 7_cong_bills&docid=f:h3763enr.txt.pdf 3763, § 1519, 2 2). shall be shall be fined under this title,imprisonednot more than 2 years, or both" (H.R. The legislation was drafted inresponse to mounting public concern over the recent upsurge in accountingscandals at high profile organizations. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was their proposed legislativesolution. What went wrong? 12 6). In other words, itmakes it so that companies have implement a transparent internal "checksand balances" for sound accounting methods. 3 2 compels CEOs to authenticate a corporation's accountingstatements; 4 4 compels issuers to attest to active, internal proceduresfor preserving the integrity of their accounting processes; 8 2 outlinesthe criminal penalties for knowingly manipulating or falsifying accountingreports; and 11 7 offers provisions for protecting whistleblowers (H.R.3763, 2 2). Section 3 2 definitely creates a number of new requirements foraccountants and CEOs alike. 3763, 1 7th Congress. Thus, a number of relevant learning and behavioraloutcomes have been established by the government for the businesscommunity, thereby improving the overall good for investors and consumers. Given all the aforementioned provisions, they conjointly have had aprofound impact on business, government, and society. Vol. Relevant learning outcomes from "PublicPolicy and Business" will be identified and described later in this paper. (2 8, winter). 8). J. As similaraberrant accounting seemed to be happening everywhere, the federalgovernment, recognizing the threat to investors, realized something neededto be done. Thus, CEOs must ensure that reported financialdetails are in fact true. 8). As such stakeholders includenot only employees but customers and shareholders, this law affects manyfacets of society. Conjointly, these mark a bold attempt to regulate accountingfraud. ReferencesGiroux, G.
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