The implementation and compliance of the SOX come at a heavy price. “According to a Financial Executives International (FEI) survey published in 2006, the average cost-compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 by major corporations was approximately $3.8 million in 2006 ” (Maria and Crystal, 2007, p2).
This excludes the opportunity costs of a distracted management, focused on compliance-related matters versus corporate strategy and reaching growth goals. According to PWC’s survey, Companies required an average of 22,786 people hours internally to comply with Section 404 in 2005. (PWC 2005)
The high cost of compliance is tangible and immediate, while the benefits of SOX are more long term and difficult to measure. The effect is many foreign companies have decided not to list in the US, and with intensifying competition from London and Hong Kong, majority of foreign companies have moved to list in London and Hong Kong instead.
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