Sarbanes oxley

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The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 is considered to be the most significant change to federal securities laws in the United States since the New Deal. It came in the wake of a series of corporate financial scandals, including those affecting Enron, Arthur Andersen, and WorldCom. Among the major provisions of the act are: criminal and civil penalties for securities violations, auditor independence / certification of internal audit work by external auditors and increased disclosure regarding executive compensation, insider trading and financial statements.

Sarbanes-Oxley law contains 11 titles, or sections, ranging from additional Corporate Board responsibilities to criminal penalties. Requires Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) to
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• Prohibition on interference with audits (Section 303).
July 30, 2003 • Deadline for SEC to submit to Congress report on adoption of principles-based accounting system by the U.S. financial reporting system (Section 108). • Deadline for the Comptroller General to submit to Congress report on mandatory rotation of accounting firms (Section 207).
October 26, 2003 • Deadline for public accounting firms to register with PCAOB (Section 102).
Section 103
(a) IN GENERAL- In this Act, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) APPROPRIATE STATE REGULATORY AUTHORITY- The term `appropriate State regulatory authority' means the State agency or other authority responsible for the licensure or other regulation of the practice of accounting in the State or States having jurisdiction over a registered public accounting firm or associated person thereof, with respect to the matter in question.
(2) AUDIT- The term `audit' means an examination of the financial statements of any issuer by an independent public accounting firm in accordance with the rules of the Board or the Commission (or, for the period preceding the adoption of applicable rules of the Board under section 103, in accordance with then-applicable generally accepted auditing and related standards for such purposes), for the purpose of expressing an opinion on such statements.

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