In light of the fact that Congress denied small businesses a Sarbanes-Oxley section 404 exemption not long ago, Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) are lobbying regulators to give SMBs more time to comply with the complicated internal controls requirements.
Kerry and Snowe serve, respectively, as chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. In those capacities, they recently penned a joint letter to Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board Mark Olson.
They asked both boards to consider giving small businesses an extra year to comply with Sarbox. In addition, they asked the PCAOB to keep an eye on how auditors deal with small businesses so that they are not unduly burdened. And of the SEC, the senators requested a published small business compliance guide, a full assessment of the "economic impact" of Sarbox on small business and regular reporting on that impact, as well as an upward adjustment to the number of shareholders needed for securities registration.
The regulators are expected to release their changes to Sarbox 404 by the end of next month.