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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 ...


Betterment Accounting: A Requiem By The Sec, James M. Van Nostrand Oct 1978

Betterment Accounting: A Requiem By The Sec, James M. Van Nostrand

Law Faculty Scholarship

The railroad industry, unlike almost every other industry, has a depreciation accounting system all its own known as betterment accounting. In sharp contrast to generally-accepted methods of depreciation, such as ratable depreciation, where the cost of the capital asset is systematically expensed over the useful life of the asset, under the betterment practice, the initial cost of track structures is recorded as a nondepreciable asset. Subsequent replacement costs are then charged directly to operating expense as an "adequately reliable" measure of depreciation. Justifications for this unique system of accounting relate primarily to the peculiar nature of railroad track structure-a large ...