SEC Survey Regarding Costs and Benefits of Rules Implementing Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act
Pursuant to the Securities and Exchange Commissionís announcement earlier this year (see http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2008/2008-116.htm), the Office of Economic Analysis has commenced a web-based survey as part of its study of the costs and benefits of the internal control over financial reporting (ICFR) requirements implementing Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. All companies with experience in complying with 404 rules are invited to participate. Participation is voluntary.
Section 404 has two provisions: Section 404(a) rules require company management to assess the effectiveness of the company's internal control over financial reporting, while Section 404(b) rules require an auditor attestation regarding the effectiveness of these controls. The Commission has taken a phased approach to the implementation of Section 404 rules. Under this approach, non-accelerated filers are among the last companies called upon to comply with rules under 404(b).
The web-based survey is one of the methods by which the SEC's Office of Economic Analysis is obtaining data on the recent experiences of companies in complying with the requirements of Section 404. The analysis of the data collected will help inform the Commission on whether its guidance for management on how to conduct an internal control evaluation, and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board's replacement of Auditing Standard No. 2 with No. 5, have improved implementation of the Section 404 rules by reducing costs while still preserving the rulesí benefits.
The survey link is https://404survey.sec.gov.
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