Date of Defense

Fall 12-2006

Department

Accountancy

First Advisor

David Rozelle, Accountancy

Second Advisor

Pam Rooney, Business Information Systems

Abstract

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, a storm hovered over Wall Street and corporate American. The clouds of the Adelphia, Tyco, Worldcom and Enron scandals dashed investor confidence and brought morality in the United States' economy to a new low. The accounting industry, a watchdog group, saw itself bringing in a record amount of consulting fees. Corporations used accountants as consultants and adopted aggressive accounting strategies. Many employees including CEOs and CFOs began to operate invincibly and proceeded to misappropriate funds, develop dependent relationships with their boards of directors and accountants, and commit acts of fraud. After seeing many investors as well as entire corporations lose everything, it was clear to lawmakers that something needed to be done. The passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002 sparked much criticism and praise among major economic players in the United States and continues to reshape the regulation of business in America. This thesis will examine the opinions of Senator Paul Sarbanes, Representative Michale Oxley, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Secretary of Commerce, and both globalizing and small businesses regarding their views of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Also discussed is the compliance costs, and their affects on international competitiveness and the accounting industry.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only

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