Sarbanes oxley section effect on audit fees

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Sarbanes oxley section effect on audit fees

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Sarbanes oxley section effect on audit fees

Since audit fees had been rising prior to due to a riskier auditing climate and due to the demise of Arthur Anderson in the Enron debacle, it is difficult to isolate the effect of SOX on audit fees in the U. Some studies have looked at the effect of SOX on audit fees and have documented an increase in the same, including a Big 4 premium.

However, the portion of the increase attributable specifically to the b auditor attestation requirement is unobservable Coates This study aims to fill this critical gap in the literature by estimating the portion of the incremental audit fees that is the result of the auditor attestation requirement of Section by using a unique dataset of Indian companies.

Some of these companies are also cross-listed on US exchanges and have to comply with Section from fiscal year-end Dec This provides a natural experiment to isolate the incremental compliance costs due to Section for the cross-listed firms.

The results of this study have important implications for policy makers and regulators in the U. In many cases, this audit fee premium may make the costs of listing in the US too high and incentivize the firm to de-list or cancel its ADR program and go dark, calling into question the global competitiveness of US stock exchanges.

Stephen Asare for providing valuable feedback for this paper and the faculty in the bridge program for their support and encouragement.

Sarbanes oxley section effect on audit fees

Introduction Section of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act SOX of requires management to present a signed report on the effectiveness of the internal controls in the firm.

SOX Section costs have arguably been a matter of great controversy and undue hardship on smaller public companies Scannell These costs have also increased the total costs to foreign companies of having their stocks listed and traded on a US exchange. Based on disclosures of audit fees required for US companies, it is difficult to separate the audit fee into these two components.

In a recent study by Raghunandan and Ramathe authors use voluntary disclosure data made by some small companies to separate out the Section compliance costs, but their sample is mostly smaller companies that disclose internal control weaknesses.

Due to data limitations, the audit fees cannot be separated into the pure auditor attestation requirement for US companies. One must therefore assume that all of the increase in compliance costs post Section is due to a mix of increased audit effort, higher auditor liability risk and higher internal audit costs.

Other companies ad a later compliance deadline of July 15, Foreign private issuers were initially required to achieve compliance by year endwhich was later extended to Dec 15, They attribute this to both increased audit complexity and expected liability risk.

Interestingly, they find that the greater audit complexity effect is not affected by auditor size, but the higher liability risk raises audit fees only for Big 4 auditors. In a study of UK firms that cross-list on US exchanges, Seetharam, Gul and Lynn find that UK audit firms tend to charge higher fees for their services when their clients are cross-listed on major U.

They attribute their findings to the higher litigation risk in the US. Empirical evidence from Choi, et al. The logic is that in a stronger legal regime, auditors face greater litigation risks, thus forcing them to charge higher audit fees to compensate for the higher liability risk.

They also argue that the effect of this legal regime differs across auditor size and find that Big 4 audit fee premiums decrease when the legal regime is stricter. In this study, using data from Indian public companies that have ADR3 programs cross listed in the USI try to isolate the impact on audit fees due to auditor attestation on internal controls.


The findings of this study have implications for regulators in the US. In recent years, the attractiveness of the U. The result of this study will be useful in evaluating the impact of regulatory reforms on foreign private issuers.

Level 1 ADRs are placed privately and have lower disclosure requirements. Motivation Audit fees in the US had already been rising sharply prior to due to a riskier auditing climate and due to the demise of Arthur Anderson.

These results are consistent with a Compliance Week report that showed a 3. The compliance costs have been higher for both, the management assessment of internal controls and for the independent auditor attestation Sneller and Langendijk In the first year of compliance, audit fees doubled. Krishnan et al also find that the audit costs for Section were relatively lower for larger firms, when adjusted for total assets, suggesting economies of scale.

The effect of this on the growth in audit fees is still uncertain. In a recent study, Bronson, Ghosh and Hogan focus on the incremental audit effort for cross listed firms and find that after controlling for home country litigation environment, audit fees for firms cross-listed in the U.

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The adoption of clause 49 was a major leap forward for corporate governance in India. The implementation of Clause 49 was staggered and became effective for large firms from March 31,followed by medium-sized firms from and small firms from Hence, Indian public companies were already complying with the Sox requirements on management certifications of internal controls, well before the passage of SOX in the US.ARTICLES Positive Corporate Governance and its Implications for Executive Compensation By James McConvill* Abstract: As a result of a series of high .

Study of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of Section Internal Control over Financial Reporting are having the intended effect of facilitating more cost-effective internal controls evaluations and “The Effect of SOX Section Compliance on Audit Fees, Earnings Quality and Stock Prices”, Journal of Finance, forthcoming ( V.

COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS. The amendments implementing Section of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act are congressionally mandated. We recognize that implementation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act will likely result in costs and benefits to the economy. Read more on the challenges facing the implementation of the section of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act as well as the maintenance costs.

Abstract The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of was intended to improve corporate governance and increase the transparency of financial audits. The legislation also could have significant effects on the public accounting industry.

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