By David Rae
30 Aug 2007
UK companies coped well with the first year of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance
and are even beginning to see some business benefits of adopting the
Despite this, compliance with the requirements of the Act has still been
a costly and time-consuming experience, according to a survey carried
out by PricewaterhouseCoopers: Sarbanes-Oxley One Year On Evaluating
experiences with Sarbanes-Oxley, which sought the views of more than
one-third of all UK-based foreign private issuers registered with the
The research into the 22 FPIs found that respondents were generally
quite positive about the adoption of Sarbox, claiming it had led to
greater awareness of financial controls and led to wider benefits such
as process and control improvements.
Despite the positive aspects, however, more than three-quarters of
respondents reported an excessive number of key controls and
documentation. More than one-third said they had tested more than 2,000
key business process controls.
There are clear indications that significant progress is still required,
said Helen Nixseaman, a partner in the risk assurance division of PwC.
In particular, the main opportunity to streamline year-two efforts lies
in a greater use of a top-down approach to focus on key controls and in
how companies interpret new US guidance. This top-down risk-based
approach is proving a real challenge.
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