Financial Executives International’s Sarbanes-Oxley compliance survey, which examines experiences in complying with section 404, found that, in its fourth year, compliance may be costing companies less than it did in each of the first three years.
Accelerated filers—defined as companies with market capitalizations above $75 million—reported reduced costs, with decreases in internal and external labor hours and in auditor attestation fees.
During fiscal year 2007, companies’ section 404 compliance required an average of 11,100 internal people hours, an 8.6% decrease from the previous year, and 1,244 external people hours, a 13.7% drop. Attestation fees constituted 23.7% of filers’ total annual audit fees and averaged $846,000, a 5.4% decrease from 2006.
Source: Financial Executives International, www.financialexecutives.org.