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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Late Filings: Has Section 404 Become A Scapegoat?

Is The Sarbanes-Oxley of 2002 and the internal control provisions of Section 404 making it difficult for companies to file their financials on time?

That's certainly what critics of the landmark governance legislation would like others to believe.

They will no doubt point to the fact that according to Glass, Lewis, nearly 300 companies sought an extra 15 days so they can complete their 2004 year-end results. This compares with 59 companies that filed for extensions for filing their 2003 annual reports and 51 companies the prior year, according to the proxy research firm. This must mean companies are having trouble completing their internal controls assessments on time.

However, a closer look at the data shows that Sarbanes-Oxley and SOX 404 actually played a less significant role than the "anti-SOX" set would suggest.

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