Who cares if Sarbox is expensive when it works? That's the perspective of Carlsbad, Calif.-based biotech company Invitrogen. Sure, the company may have spent $2.5 million and 10,000 man hours on compliance, but the embattled corporate reform law's requirements have made it a "better-run business." NWAnews.com quotes CEO Greg Lucier as follows:
Sarbanes-Oxley brought a lot more focus to the efforts we were already taking, Invitrogen investors are better protected because Sarbanes-Oxley regulations have been put in place.
For example, company directors meet more often, and independently of management. Employee complaints are taken by several people rather than just one or even a handful. Ethics training is systematic and meticulous. And Lucier makes his managers answer for their department's financial results -- in much the same way that he must take responsibility for the entire company's results.
Considering that biotech companies have been committed advocates for a Sarbanes-Oxley exemption, it's refreshing to see one of their number making the law work to its advantage.