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Internal Controls Improved Under SOX

Internal control over financial reporting has improved under SOX, according to

Despite being initially met with mixed reviews, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act appears to be working - and working well, according to a recent survey from global consulting firm Protiviti.

"Sarbanes-Oxley has had its share of controversy in the past, but nearly 70 percent of respondents in our survey reported that the internal control over financial reporting structure in their organizations has improved since compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 became a requirement," said Brian Christensen, executive vice president of global internal audit with Protiviti. "Companies are still learning and working to improve continuously the quality of their internal controls as well as the effectiveness and efficiency of their compliance processes, even 10 years later."

The legislation was introduced in 2002 to prevent future instances of accounting errors and fraud of the type that occurred at such major corporations as Tyco International, WorldCom and, most famously, Enron. In 2001, it was revealed that Enron had been concealing significant levels of debt through accounting loopholes and misleading its board of directors. Once the dubious practices came to light, the company went into bankruptcy and its auditing firm, Arthur Andersen, was dissolved.