Date of Completion
Accounting | Business
In July of 2002, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was passed by Congress, including section 404 which requires the auditors to test and opine on the company's internal controls. Since that time there has been much debate about whether the intended benefits of increased investor confidence and financial statement transparency trump the unexpectedly high compliance costs, especially for public companies with market-caps less than $75 million. Before these companies begin complying in the upcoming year, interest groups are calling for the requirements to be 'scaled' to better fit the needs of these companies. While auditors already are expected to scale their audit approach to each individual client, more must be done to significantly decrease the costs in order to reverse the trend of small companies foregoing listing on U.S. capital markets. Increased guidance from the PCAOB, SEC, and other related parties could help the small-cap companies and their auditors be aware of best practices. Also, exempting industries that already follow similar guidelines or are significantly injured by the compliance requirements could help. Lastly, the controversial proposal of rotational audits could be put in place if the affected parties cooperate to remove the undue burden on these small-cap companies. Without some form of significant action, the investors could soon lose the ability to buy small-cap companies in U.S. markets.
Hallarin, Daniel, "Scaling the Costs of 404 Testing to Fit the Needs of Small Public Companies" (2008). Honors Scholar Theses. 36.