While a majority of financial executives polled feel that compliance with the sweeping Sarbanes-Oxley Act was beneficial for shareholders and has bolstered internal controls at their respective companies, just as many think Congress needs to revisit the legislation in the near future.
Fifty-seven percent of 222 financial executives surveyed by SOX compliance monitoring solutions provider Oversight Systems felt that SOX compliance was a "good investment" for shareholders, albeit one that carried a high price tag. And 79 percent of respondents said that Sox compliance strengthened their company's internal controls. But while they supported Sections 302, 404 and 409 of the legislation, the vast majority (81 percent) said that lawmakers should re-examine the act in the future.
When asked to identify the benefits of SOX, 46 percent of respondents said that compliance ensures the accountability of individuals involved in financial reports and operations; 33 percent stated that compliance decreases the risk of financial fraud; 31 percent revealed that they have reduced errors in their financial operations; and 25 percent said that compliance empowers the board audit committee by providing it with deeper information. The survey polled an array of finance-level posts including chief financial officers, controllers, treasurers, vice presidents and directors at companies ranging in revenue from less than $250 million to more than $5 billion.
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