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The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Enron

In: Business and Management

Submitted By antbailey
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Abstract

This research paper explores the creation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and the role Enron played in its enactment. Specifically, this paper will explore and discuss the Enron crisis, emphasizing the legal and ethical accounting breaches committed by the company. The purpose of SOX and the methods used to address those breaches. A discussion of the major provisions of the act including: (1) Establishment of the Oversight Board commonly referred to as the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) (2) Restrictions on non-audit services (3) Rotation of audit partners (4) Auditor reports to audit committees (5) conflicts of interests (6) CEO and CFO certification of annual and quarterly reports and (7) Internal control report and auditor attestation. The necessary requirements concerning internal control for public companies. A discussion of the types of services considered unlawful if provided to a publicly held company by its auditor. A discussion of the broader impact of the act on auditors. Lastly, a discussion from the legal and ethical viewpoint of the level of success the act has had in preventing cases such as Enron. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Enron

In any contemporary discussion of corporate governance and the erosion of trust in business, one name is unavoidable: Enron. Enron has become an icon for corporate fraud on a massive scale going to the top of the corporate hierarchy. In any attempt to restore trust, two points will have to be acknowledged. First, Enron has exposed to a wider public not just vast fraud, but the pervasive practice of “creative compliance” (McBarnet & Whelan, 1997). Second, we need to be cautious of placing our hopes on change only through law. Legal regulation of business cannot succeed without a new focus on business ethics. Ethics that are intrinsic to the way business executives and their advisors...

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