As expected, the Securities and Exchange Commission granted a one-year extension on Sarbanes-Oxley 404 compliance for small companies and foreign issuers that trade in the U.S. Under the SEC's revised guidelines, those firms that fall under those categories -- U.S, firms with a market cap of less than $75 million -- would have to be in 404 compliance for their first fiscal year ending on or after July 15, 2006. Section 404 of SOX requires that a company certify their internal controls and have an attestation to that effect from their outside auditor. Larger U.S. companies are required to be in 404 compliance for the first fiscal year ending on or after Nov. 15, 2004. In April, the SEC has scheduled a public roundtable to discuss concerns about SOX 404 and its time and cost impact on smaller companies.

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