SMBs Will Get Some Sarbox Relief

Lora Bentley

Last week the Senate rejected an amendment to Sarbanes-Oxley that would have exempted companies with a market capitalization of less than $700 million from the requirements of Sarbox Section 404. Not to worry, say the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. That doesn't mean SMBs are out of luck when it comes to Sarbox relief.


The regulators continue to work toward simplifying the 404 requirements for small business, according to this bizjournals piece. SEC Chairman Christopher Cox says they are "reorienting" 404 implementation to focus on what's important rather than what he calls "make-work procedures that waste investors' money."


If the SEC and PCAOB meet their June deadline for issuing the new 404 implementation guidelines, small businesses will not need additional time to comply, Cox indicates. Small business advocates don't agree, however. Congressional committees on small businesses are pushing for another year-long extension, which would push compliance deadlines for companies with fiscal years ending in December to March 2009 for internal controls reports and March 2010 for outside audits.

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