EU Gearing up for 'EuroSOX'

Lora Bentley

European Union member states will be required to implement the remainder of the EU's version of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the coming months, according to Techworld. The Statutory Audit Directive was to be incorporated into member states' laws by the end of June. They have until September 5, 2008, to include the Company Reporting Directive.


Unlike the quick enactment of Sarbanes-Oxley in the U.S. in 2002, EuroSOX has taken time. It began as a 10-point plan in an early draft of the European Union's Eighth Directive in 2003, was adopted for local implementation in 2006, and will be implemented by the end of 2008. Like Sarbanes-Oxley, however, it will address several things. It is aimed to protect investors, establish corporate governance requirements, set up independent audit committees and expand corporate disclosure requirements, says the AIIM Knowledge Center Blog.


Also like Sarbox, it seems EuroSOX will not become law in each of the EU's member states without a few roadblocks. The latest is the language barrier. As each of the nations translates the requirements into its own language, there is a danger that key points of the directives will be lost, the Information Security Forum says. Differing interpretations of the requirements could result in different compliance burdens in the different countries.


The ISF makes a valid point -- any time something is translated into 25 languages, there are bound to be differences. However, the fact that the directives have taken so long to come into force demonstrates the EU's determination to anticipate and avoid as many unintended consequences as possible. It's had the U.S. example from which to learn, after all.

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