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“Seventeen years after passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), those not involved in SOX compliance might assume that by now it would be a rote activity requiring diminishing effort.
They would be wrong.” So begins a recent While SOX compliance is not likely to become a rote activity requiring diminishing effort anytime soon, Protiviti’s report does optimistically envision what it dubs “SOX Compliance 2.0,” fueled by the use of advanced technologies such as robotic process automation and machine learning in connection with SOX compliance activities.
Backdating involves changing the day that stock options were granted to an earlier date when a company’s stock was trading at a lower price, potentially allowing company executives to lock in higher profits when they exercise their options. Before that, companies did not have to report option grants for several weeks.
The new regulations should have removed most opportunities for backdating. A spokesman for Websense, Cas Purdy, said, “The late filings were unintentional and we filed the appropriate forms when we became aware of it.” The other companies could not immediately be reached for comment. () was also mentioned in the report as having been late in filing Form 4s after August 2002.
When the Sarbanes-Oxley act (SOX) was signed into law on July 30, 2002, it changed the way executives at nearly every public company thought about their business.
While SOX gained attention in 20 for its focus on financial and accounting issues, the focus in 2005 has shifted to other functional areas such as Supply Chain, Human Resources and Information Technology.
The legislation has brought the need to have transparency in financial statements to the forefront of corporate issues. It is the supply chain leader's responsibility to interpret the impact that SOX compliance has on a company's supply base and to work with the company's compliance leaders to ensure that supply chain processes have appropriate controls.
The Issues and Implications for Supply Chain Leaders While there are clear SOX implications throughout all areas of Supply Chain Management (SCM), the law does not mandate how a company must address them.
“For some reason they fell through the cracks,” Robert Lifton, chairman and chief executive officer, of Medis, a fuel cell technology company, said of several late Form 4s the company filed from 2004 through 2005. While Sarbanes-Oxley was not created with the express intent of policing antitrust compliance in pricing matters, the broad scope of the act clearly affects this area.Some of the most obvious examples in the context of pricing policies and related issues include tighter controls on the accounting and disclosure procedures relating to the treatment and use of discounts, allowances and promotional funds in general, regardless of whether a company is giving or getting them.“Our attorneys and our auditors have checked it and rechecked it and there was no backdating,” Lifton told Reuters. “We filed them late and we, ourselves, disclosed it in our proxy statement.” Glass Lewis also raised concerns about late Form 4s that could have resulted in higher profits for executives at Hansen Natural Corp.
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For example, the act requires that an issuer's chief financial officer (CFO) and chief executive officer (CEO) certify financial reporting documents (such as the company's quarterly and annual reports) and make the knowing certification of noncompliant financials a criminal offense.