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October 2008

The Future of Sarbanes-Oxley

An Exclusive Interview with Former U.S. Senator Paul S. Sarbanes

Paul S. Sarbanes served in the U.S. House of Representatives beginning in 1970, where he introduced the first article of impeachment against President Richard Nixon. He was a Democratic U.S. senator from Maryland from 1977 to 2007, but is perhaps best known for co-sponsoring the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX). This sweeping accounting reform legislation, coauthored with Representative Michael G. Oxley (R-Ohio), addressed the loss of investor confidence triggered by corporate scandals such as those at Enron, Tyco, and WorldCom. SOX led to the creation of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), which was established to oversee public companies' auditors and protect the public's interest by ensuring informative, fair, and independent audit reports. Six years later, the PCAOB has changed the face of financial reporting at public companies.

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