SEC Nixes Small Biz Sarbox Exemption

Cost of complying with Section 404(b) has declined, according to the agency.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has released a study that concludes that complying with Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act will not pose too big a burden for companies with market capitalizations between $50 million and $250 million. The study was mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act.

Section 404(b) involves having an external auditor attest to the company’s assessment of its internal controls on its financial reporting. Large public companies have had to meet this requirement since 2004, and there have been many complaints about the costs of complying.

The SEC study concludes that costs involved have declined. It also argues that investors find the auditor’s view on a company’s internal controls on its financial reporting to be helpful, and says there’s no evidence that the requirement is discouraging companies from going public in the United States.

The SEC recommends that no new exemptions from Section 404(b) be granted.



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