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The costs of complying with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) dropped a dramatic 41% in 2007 from the previous year as confidence in the accuracy and reliability of financial reports grew, according to a Financial Executives International (FEI) survey. Part of that drop was attributed to a 5.4% decline in spending for 404 attestation by outside auditors, FEI said, citing responses from 185 companies, most of which have market caps over $75 million. “As companies continue to find efficiencies in complying with Section 404 and make compliance part of a routine practice, we have seen a continued decline in costs,” says Michael Cangemi, FEI president and CEO.

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