U.S. Corporations Struggle to Meet First Sarbanes-Oxley Filing Deadline
Despite an extension in the deadline from June 15, 2004 to November 15, 2004, half of large U.S. companies polled are still less than 60 per cent complete in meeting their Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Section 404 filing requirements, according to a survey conducted by ACL Services Ltd. and the Center for Continuous Auditing (CCA). The poll of 248 senior audit professionals at corporations with more than $1 billion in revenues reports considerable challenges meeting SOX Section 404 filing requirements. In addition, the survey found that 67 percent of companies have no annual budget allocated to maintain Section 404 compliance after the initial filing requirement. The Section 404 deadline is the first in a series of deadlines within the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and requires that corporate management teams assess the effectiveness of internal controls. Punishment for false statements by senior management will include fines and jail time. The ACL Services-CCA Survey revealed that one quarter of the respondents are only mildly confident or not confident at all in their company’s ability to maintain Section 404 compliance after the first filing deadline.