Former Senator Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., who, as the head of the Senate Banking Committee, co-authored the sweeping Sarbanes-Oxley reform act said he supports developing additional guidance for smaller filers but, not surprisingly, dismisses exempting those companies from compliance with the legislation's rigid Section 404. "Stop and think about that for a moment," said Sarbanes in a speech before attendees at a conference on financial reporting and governance presented by Pace University's Lubin School of Business, here. "That would mean that you would be exempting 80 percent of public companies from compliance."

Sarbanes referred to recent pronouncements from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board regarding potential streamlining of the 404 internal controls provision, which small filers have complained is disproportionate to them in terms of cost and manpower.

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