Saturday, November 11, 2006
The Washington Post reported Saturday that the SEC has moved closer to issuing new guidelines to ease compliance and audit requirements under SOX, especially on smaller institutions and for certain types or levels of transactions. The article: "SEC, Accounting Board Officials To Weigh Sarbanes-Oxley Update." SEC leaders and a panel from the accounting profession will meet Sunday to discuss changes to accountability controls and internal audit procedures. If such industry meetings produce specific proposals, they are expected to be played out starting next month in open meetings with public comment.
This development, along with SEC Chair Christopher Cox's phone comments to the Post, apparently confirms earlier hints and suggestions that new 'SOX 404 guidance' would work toward more flexible and context-based expectations for companies. In addition, portions of a letter written by Cox and released this week supported cost-consciousness and flexibility in further implementation of SOX, four years later. Business groups had objected to compliance costs and uncertainty, and the SEC--among others--seems to have listened. [Alan Childress]
UPDATE: The Business Law Prof Blog has a nice rant on this 404 issue and especially the media's treating SEC steps as a big story when Congress needs to act.