Florham Park, N.J. (Aug. 12, 2004) -- Estimates of the cost of complying with Section 404 will hit public companies even harder in the wallet than previously expected, according to a survey by Financial Executives International.

Complying with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act will cost public companies an average 62 percent more than previously anticipated, according to the FEI survey of 224 public companies with average revenues of $2.5 billion. FEI said that the increase stems from a 109 percent rise in internal costs, a 42 percent jump in external costs and a 40 percent increase in the fees charged by external auditors.

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