It seems everyone, from audit committee chairs to chief financial officers, is feeling the pressure of Sarbanes-Oxley. The result, according to a study of audit firm performance, is low accounting firm performance levels compared to other business-to-business studies and a decline in the confidence level of the accounting profession, according to J.D. Power and Associates.

Top management is concerned about the costs of implementing Sarbanes-Oxley requirements, while some auditors feel that they are being stretched too thin by additional audit requirements, which are impacting service levels, and audit committee chairs are feeling the pressure of increased accountability in the required financial reporting process, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2004 Audit Firm Performance Study. The report is based on interviews with 1,007 audit committee chairs and 944 CFOs.

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