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Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) is no longer a dirty word at most corporations. Nearly 82% of 253 audit committee members recently surveyed by The Center for Audit Quality say audit quality has improved in recent years. And early adopters are telling Mark Olson, chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, that compliance costs for once dreaded Section 404 audits are falling, following the late 2007 implementation of Auditing Standard 5. “We’re hearing that companies–especially big global companies–are seeing immediate reductions in the internal cost of executing SOX, as well as in the amount of details required compared to [Auditing Standard 2],” Olson told attendees at Treasury & Risk’s conference, A Vision for Tomorrow’s Treasurer, in New York.

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