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2009

Business Law, Public Responsibility, and Ethics

University of New Hampshire

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Case Against Exempting Smaller Reporting Companies From Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404: Why Market-Based Solutions Are Likely To Harm Ordinary Investors, John Orcutt Jan 2009

The Case Against Exempting Smaller Reporting Companies From Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404: Why Market-Based Solutions Are Likely To Harm Ordinary Investors, John Orcutt

Law Faculty Scholarship

Section 404 is arguably the most controversial provision of Sarbanes-Oxley (“SOX”). The controversy focuses on whether Section 404’s substantial compliance costs exceed the statute’s benefits, with no consensus on Section 404’s cost-effectiveness. If Section 404 turns out to be cost-ineffective, the companies that are most threatened are smaller companies, as cost-ineffective regulations tend to disproportionately harm smaller companies. This Article considers whether Congress and the SEC should exempt smaller reporting companies from Section 404 compliance, as that would allow for a market-based resolution to the uncertain value of Section 404 for smaller reporting companies. Smaller reporting companies ...