Presidential Scholars Theses (1990 – 2006)


Open Access Presidential Scholars Thesis

First Advisor

Ron Abraham


Financial statements--Law and legislation;


Sarbanes-Oxley is a piece of legislation passed into law on July 30, 2002 (The Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002 With Analysis, 2002, p. iii). The act was developed to, " .. . to enhance public company governance, responsibility, and disclosure (p. l)." The official name of the act is Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act. The name Sarbanes-Oxley comes from the act's co-sponsors: Senator Paul Sarbanes, D-Maryland and Senator Michael Oxley, R-Ohio. (Callaghan, 2004) The legislation adds requirements for publicly held corporations, not private companies, in the United States regarding internal controls and financial reporting. Sarbanes-Oxley, nicknamed SOX, alters the accounting profession for all areas of accounting. It primarily affects the public accounting firms because there are stricter rules about their independence and new audit programs are required. The accountants who prepare the financial statements within the publicly held corporations are held to higher standards for financial reporting. The CEOs and CFOs of the publicly held corporations are required to certify financial statements and internal controls which, in tum, creates more liability for them, including possible criminal penalties. Additionally, the audit committees of publicly held corporations have experienced new roles within their respective corporations. (How the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 Impacts the Accounting Profession, 2003) These aspects and others of SOX will more be explained more in depth with focus on sections 302 and 404 of the act, followed by a case study of compliance with SOX.

Date of Award



Department of Accounting

Presidential Scholar Designation

A paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation Presidential Scholar


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Date Original


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1 PDF file (51 pages)

Date Digital



©2004 Rachel Kass





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Accounting Commons