SEC Chairman Cox’s SOX Plan Wins Small Business Praise

SEC Chairman Christopher Cox’s new plan to extend Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) deadlines for smaller public companies helps small business by minimising compliance burdens and by rejecting one-size-fits-all regulation. Chairman Cox unveiled his plan during recent congressional testimony. “Chairman Cox is doing the right thing for smaller public companies,” said Thomas M. Sullivan, Chief Counsel for Advocacy. “By asking for an extension of the deadline for compliance with Section 404(b) of SOX, and calling for a complete study of the costs and benefits of Section 404, he has clearly shown that he listened to the voice of small business.” In May, Sullivan asked the SEC to revisit the issue of compliance deadline extensions for smaller public firms. The request mirrored that of Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), the Ranking Member. In April, Sullivan testified before Congress that, “There is a compelling record demonstrating that the costs of complying with Section 404 are large and disproportionately high for small public companies. . . Advocacy believes that the excessive cost of Section 404 internal controls reporting may restrict a new generation of small innovative companies from seeking capital in the U.S. capital markets.” Based on years of involvement in the issue and listening to concerns raised by affected small businesses, Sullivan testified that “Advocacy strongly recommends that the SEC continue to provide further extensions for small public companies.”


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