Study of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 Section 404: Internal Control Over Financial Reporting Requirements
The Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act, otherwise known as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (the "Act"), was enacted in July 2002 after a series of high-profile corporate scandals involving companies such as Enron and Worldcom. Section 404(a) of the Act requires management to assess and report on the effectiveness of Internal Control over Financial Reporting ("ICFR"). Section 404(b) requires that an independent auditor attest to management's assessment of the effectiveness of those internal controls. Because the cost of complying with the requirements of Section 404 of the Act ("Section 404") has been generally viewed as being unexpectedly high,1 efforts to reduce the costs while retaining the effectiveness of compliance resulted in a series of reforms in 2007.