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For Darryl Baker, it’s hard to tell which is worse: the sheer cost of complying with Section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley or the aggravation. Baker, controller of Mobility Electronics Inc., a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company with $85.5 million in revenues, has had to go through the auditing process every year since SarbOx went into effect. During that time, auditing fees have more than doubled, to $633,000. But simply enduring the excruciating process itself has proved equally painful. “I’ve seen auditors spend most of their time on lower-level controls, like making sure vouchers for purchases of supplies were properly authorized,” he says. “They focus on things that ultimately have little real impact.”

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