The Sarbanes-Oxley Act Case Study

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Between the years 2000 and 2002 there were over a dozen corporate scandals involving unethical corporate governance practices. The allegations ranged from faulty revenue reporting and falsifying financial records, to the shredding and destruction of financial documents (Patsuris, 2002). Most notably, are the cases involving Enron and Arthur Andersen. The allegations of the Enron scandal went public in October 2001. They included, hiding debt and boosting profits to the tune of more than one billion dollars. They were also accused of bribing foreign governments to win contacts and manipulating both the California and Texas power markets (Patsuris, 2002). Following these allegations, Arthur Andersen was investigated for, allegedly, shredding…show more content…
The act introduced changes to the regulation of corporate governance. The intent of the act is to protect investors from inaccurate financial reporting. It sets forth strict compliance regulations and harsh penalties for violations (Cross & Miller, 2012). The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is made up of eleven titles designed to restore public opinion and trust. The titles address issues independent of one and another, but it is the fluidity among them that allows them to operate as one. The act requires companies to establish internal controls to safeguard the integrity of its financial reporting. In turn, these controls are designed to provide shareholders a level of confidence in the company’s discloser reports. Also a, year-end financial audit is completed, along with an assessment of the overall effectiveness of the company’s internal auditing programs (Cross & Miller,…show more content…
Broadly defined business ethics is, knowing the difference between what is right and what is wrong. It is the written and unwritten, principles and values that govern how decisions are made within a company (Cross & Miller, 2012). The focus of business ethics is to identify the moral standard, and provides guidelines to follow when making tough ethical decisions. Unethical behavior is typically the result of corrupted interactions between individuals within the organization (Brown & Mitchell, 2010). Many times, unethical acts steam for behaviors that are socially or culturally acceptable within the organization. Ethical behavior can enhance a work environment and maximizes contentment, while unethical behavior may have the opposite affect. Not only can this behavior cause stress in the work place, there is the possibility of it ruining a business (Cross & Miller, 2012). Unlike corporate governance, ethical standards are not as easy to define. A code of ethics expresses fundamental principles and provides guidance to decision makers, but there are no set rules written into a code of ethics. A code of conduct is created using a company’s code of ethics. It is a statement of standard that discloses how a company chooses to conduct its business activities (Driscoll &Hoffman, 2011). Following the scandals of the early 2000’s, many companies adopted a code of conduct to ensure the compliance
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