The Impact of Sarbanes-Oxley Act

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Executive Summary

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) was signed into law in July 2002, with the express purpose of restoring public confidence in corporate financial statements. Prior to the enactment of Sox, investors suffered significant losses due to corporate failures brought on by financial malfeasance. Specifically, SOX was intended to address issues of accounting fraud by attempting to improve both the accuracy of and reliability of corporate disclosures. It also increased the accountability of company executives and members of the board of directors. The act was a direct consequence of the public disgust with a series of financial scandals that lead to collapse of large firms as best exemplified by Enron and WorldCom.

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