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The Right Approach for Your First 404 Audit

Frieser Neil | October 16, 2007

Large companies have had five years of hard-earned experience complying with Sarbanes-Oxley and its dreaded Section 404 provisions about internal controls over financial reporting. Now compliance looms for non-accelerated filers, and I’d suggest leaning on that experience as much as you can.

Based on my observations and experience (as the leader of SOX compliance for Viacom), despite the sophistication of many large filers, a lack of clarity initially surrounded Section 404 implementation. As a result, companies used external advisers extensively in the first few years to help them develop program management capabilities and implementation strategy and assist with documentation and testing. Consultants also assisted in negotiating with external auditors, since we had scant guidance about how to apply the rules and most companies had limited internal expertise in this area. Many companies struggled to achieve compliance during their initial...

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