The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board announced that its next round of inspections would focus on the costs of internal control audits mandated under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

"A key emphasis of the 2006 inspections will be the efficiency of the firms' performance of audits of internal control over financial reporting," said acting chairman Bill Gradison, in a statement. Hoping to improve on the cost-effectiveness of the audits, Gradison said that inspectors would make an effort to determine whether auditors had accomplished the oversight called for under SOX's Section 404 with the "least expenditure of effort and resources."

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