The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission really is listening. Earlier this week, the commission proposed delaying the Sarbanes-Oxley compliance deadline for companies with a market value of less than $75 million from July 15, 2007, to December 2007. What's more, they will have until December 2008 to file the results of the external audits that the law requires.
Small companies and specific industries (biotech comes to mind) have been pushing for complete exemption from the Sarbox 404 requirements for awhile, so the proposed change may seem too little too late, but it's at least a step in the right direction.
And it's not as if that's the end of the discussion. Regulators have been pretty clear that they won't give a blanket exemption, but they are still working to hammer out new implementation guidance. There is still room to tweak the process.