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Q: How have the new rules in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 affected the way accounting departments and companies operate? What are some positive outcomes from these changes?
A: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was passed in response to a number of major corporate and accounting scandals involving prominent companies in the United States. [ [ These scandals resulted in a decline of public trust in accounting and reporting practices. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act's major provisions include: - Certification of financial reports by chief executive officers and chief financial
officers - Ban on personal loans to any Executive Officer and Director - Accelerated reporting of trades by insiders - Prohibition on insider trades during pension fund blackout periods - Public reporting of CEO and CFO compensation and profits - Additional disclosure - Auditor independence, including outright bans on certain types of work and pre-certification by the company's Audit Committee of all other non-audit work - Criminal and civil penalties for violations of securities law - Significantly longer jail sentences and larger fines for corporate executives who knowingly and willfully misstate financial statements. - Prohibition on audit firms providing extra "value-added" services to their clients including actuarial services, legal and extra services (such as consulting) unrelated to their audit work. - A requirement that publicly traded companies furnish independent annual audit reports on the existence and condition (i.e., reliability) of internal controls as they relate to financial reporting. ] ]
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Asked 2/19/2013 2:18:03 PM
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