2012 candidates want SOX repealed
Nov 03, 2011
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is calling for the repeal of Section 404 of the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act, better known as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX).
Long seen as SOX’s most controversial provision, Section 404 requires public companies to include in their annual reports both the firm's own assessment of its "internal controls" and an outside auditor's assessment.
SOX and other regulation — including Dodd-Frank — are drawing new scrutiny on the 2012 GOP presidential campaign trail.
Perry isn’t the only candidate who thinks changes are needed.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has said he “will seek to amend" SOX, to make compliance with it "less onerous" for mid-sized companies.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota have both called for the outright repeal of SOX. Rep. Ron Paul was one of only three House lawmakers who voted against SOX back in 2002.
Estimates of the costs that Section 404 has imposed on American businesses have varied. In testimony before the House Financial Services Committee last month, J.W. Verret, a scholar at the conservative Mercatus Center at George Mason University, told lawmakers the SEC vastly underestimated how much Section 404(b) would cost firms. The agency's initial projection of $91,000 per company was later revised to $2.87 million.