Don't throw away the sleeping pills just yet. If you're a senior executive or manager with financial accountability, chances are, over the past year, you've had trouble sleeping because you've been worried about complying with the Sarbanes-Oxley law--especially the part that holds you personally responsible for attesting to the adequacy of your company's internal controls over financial reporting.Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that SOX--passed in 2002--requires executive officers of public companies to annually attest to the effectiveness of internal controls over their financial reports. If you fail to establish and maintain appropriate controls, you can be fined and even sent to jail.
Fear of these penalties naturally prompted corporate leaders of publicly traded companies to scramble to meet the requirements of Section 404 for the first time at the end of last year. That's the part of the law that holds senior managers accountable for documenting and evaluating their internal controls.
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