Financial Executives International, a 15,000-member body of chief financial officers, controllers and other c-level financial executives, has thrown its support behind the Senate's efforts to modify Sarbanes-Oxley's Section 404. In a letter to Sens. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and Richard Shelby, R-Ala., the chairman and ranking Republican, respectively, of the Senate Banking Committee, FEI president and chief executive Michael Cangemi lauded their leadership in "allowing the SEC and the PCAOB to resolve the challenges of improving Section 404." Cangemi told Dodd and Shelby that FEI's position is that "Section 404 needs to be made more efficient. However, we remain encouraged that the forthcoming SEC and PCAOB guidance will achieve a greater balance in the implementation of the annual compliance process of Section 404." FEI's letter comes on the heels of an overwhelming 62-35 defeat in the Senate of an amendment put forth by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., which would have made 404 compliance optional for companies below a certain market cap. Shortly thereafter, the chamber voted unanimously 97-0 to approve an amendment from Dodd, suggesting that the SEC and the PCAOB forge ahead with their previously announced plans to develop guidance for smaller filers to make SOX more manageable.

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