Sarbanes-Oxley Act

In response to major corporate accounting scandals at large U.S. companies such as Adelphia, Computer Associates, Enron, and WorldCom (to name a few), the U.S. Congress passed sweeping legislation in July 2002 aimed at improving the integrity of financial statements and related audits issued by U.S. publicly traded companies and mandating certain corporate governance practices within publicly traded U.S. companies. This legislation, titled the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (Sarbanes-Oxley or the act), has been considered by many to be the most significant new law since the passage of the Securities and Exchange Acts of 1933 and 1934. The act was amended in April 2012.

The act is most commonly referred to by its section numbers. Each section has specific requirements, affecting the publicly traded company, its ...

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