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The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 has fundamentally changed the business and regulatory landscape for all companies publically traded in the US. SOX is intended to instill confidence back into the investor community after several corporate scandals resulted in the loss of billions of dollars in invested capital. SOX does this by increasing corporate governance requirements through measures that will strengthen internal checks and balances and ultimately, provide transparency, as well as elevated corporate accountability. It is important to emphasize that section 404 does not require senior management and business process owners to merely establish and maintain an adequate internal control structure, but also to assess its effectiveness on an annual basis.
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