When the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act became law earlier this year, small public companies got what they'd been hoping for since 2002-an exemption from Sarbanes-Oxley section 404(b) auditor attestation compliance requirements. And though there have been changes to Sarbanes-Oxley compliance requirements for large companies, the requirements are still in place.
The SOX Compliance and Evolution to GRC Conference, slated for Nov. 4-5 in Philadelphia, is designed to provide those large public companies with tools and information that will help them to integrate Sarbanes-Oxley compliance into an enterprise-wide governance, risk and compliance program. According to the conference website, Lyle Smith will be a keynote speaker. As the global director of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance for Walmart, Smith can offer unique insight into how the world's largest public company keeps up with Sarbox compliance efforts while still achieving economies of scale.
In a recent interview promoting the conference, Smith explained one of the company's biggest Sarbanes-Oxley compliance challenges:
Walmart is experiencing tremendous growth internationally. As a result, we must continuously monitor each country to consider how that growth is impacting Sarbanes-Oxley compliance....The depth and breadth that comes with Walmart...creates an exciting and diverse environment where Sarbanes-Oxley compliance remains fresh and relevant.
He also pointed out that though the recent financial crisis did not indicate that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act had failed to do what Congress intended it to do, the crisis did reveal some serious misunderstandings about how Sarbanes-Oxley compliance should work and how companies should approach it.