A Sarbanes-Oxley Meditation

BY DAN HABBART

A Sarbanes-Oxley Meditation

Lately the world has seen many a catastrophe,
Terrorist war, tsunami, flood and financial impropriety,
Ingenious accounting manipulations,
Debt hidden in trading positions,
Expenses booked as acquisitions.

Congress knew what it must do, so
Sarbanes and Oxley took the cue.
To shore up corporate responsibility
They made law to test internal control sufficiency.

To prove fiduciaries diligent,
SOX required tests to document
And make every internal control evident,
A nightmare compliance requirement.

What ensued was…
Paper proving every debit,
Paper proving every credit,
Paper proof of calculations,
Paper proof of estimations,
Copier breakdown lamentations,
Alas, a paper whirlwind.

But criminals still await their fate,
Legislatures promulgate,
Audit fees did escalate, and
Accountants toil very late,
Reaping a paper whirlwind.

—Dan Habbart, CPA

SPONSORED REPORT

2018 financial reporting survey: Challenges and trends

Learn the top reporting challenges that emerged in a survey of more than 800 finance, accounting, and compliance professionals across the world, and compare them with your organization's obstacles.

PODCAST

How the skill set for today’s CFO is changing

Scott Simmons, a search expert for large-company CFOs, gives advice for the next generation of finance leaders and more, including which universities are regularly producing future CEOs and CFOs.