The Sarbanes-Oxley Act celebrated its 10th birthdayyesterday, a milestone that has triggered a flood of assessments. AReuters analysis credits the law with strengthening companies'internal controls on their financial reports and boosting thepenalties for executives who commit financial fraud. It points tothe initial climb and subsequent decline in the number of companiesrestating their financials as a sign that Sarbanes-Oxley isworking. The article points out, though, that while Sarbanes-Oxleyestablished the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board andincreased oversight of the accounting industry, it did noteliminate the conflict of interest inherent in public companiespaying the accounting firms that audit their books.

Allison Frankel, a legal blogger for Thomson Reuters, notes thatSarbanes-Oxley's requirement that CEOs and CFOs certify theircompany's financial results hasn't provided prosecutors withmuchhelp in going after executives in cases of financial fraud.Regulators have brought few such cases and won even fewer, shesays, blaming that in part on companies' having set up systems inwhich lower-level executives provide subcertifications that the CEOand CFO rely upon.

Read the full Reuters story here;see Allison Frankel's blog posting here and a New York Times collection of short piecesabout the legislation here.

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