Sarbanes-Oxley: Good vs. Bad Debate Continues

Lora Bentley

Just days after McKinsey released a report -- commissioned by none other than Mayor Michael Bloomberg and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. -- dooming New York City and its stock exchanges to failure unless changes are made to Sarbanes-Oxley, a BusinessWeek story declares that investors love the corporate reform law. Well, maybe love is too strong a word. The point is, they like the changes Sarbox has wrought.

 

It's not the first time those who think Sarbanes-Oxley is fine as it is have spoken up, but it's the first article of its kind we've seen this year. The piece quotes investment officers and portfolio managers who say some major benefits of the legislation have been lost in the clamor for reform.

 

First, Sarbox has resulted in more reliable financial statements, upon which investors rely when making their buy and sell decisions. The accounting reforms are also "a win," according to a T Rowe Price Group spokesperson. And the internal controls audits? They drive productivity gains and profit increases, says Eaton Vance Management's Duncan Richardson.

 

If Sarbox changes are definite -- not to mention imminent -- then it seems investors would offer three words of caution to those making the changes: Don't forget us!



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