Washington - Regulatory overreaction by gun-shy auditors and corporate managers is at least partially to blame for the soaring audit expenses attributed to the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board's new rules implementing Sarbanes-Oxley Act Section 404 accounting reforms, board member Daniel L. Goelzer told business leaders here.

In a recent address to the National Association of Business Economics, Goelzer argued that "many of the Section 404-related costs and burdens that are currently attracting public attention are a consequence of the first-time implementation of what is inherently a complex and far-reaching new statutory requirement."

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