The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (‘SOX’)” entrusts the management of SEC registrants with the responsibility of annually reporting the effectiveness of their internal control structure and procedures for financial reporting, and attesting the financial statements. Senior management must provide assurance on the existence, adequacy and effectiveness of internal controls – and SOX also requires each firm’s external auditor to attest and report on management’s assessment.
Recent corporate scandals have eroded investor trust to some extent in corporate reporting. To reduce corporate malfeasance and protect investors, Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (Sarbanes-Oxley) and Revised Clause 49 of Stock Exchange Listing Agreement were promulgated by the regulators in the Unites States and India, respectively. These legislations defined a new system of checks and balances to rebuild investor confidence.
Today’s corporate stakeholders expect greater assurance, more oversight and clear evidence of internal controls. The confidence of the investing community will only be restored after the gap between investor expectation, in terms of corporate governance and reporting, and what they have received in the past is bridged.
Sarbanes-Oxley and Clause 49 provides impetus to close the expectation gap by altering and expanding the responsibilities of key participants in the corporate reporting process. These legislations focus on improving the accuracy and reliability of corporate reporting.