SOX Act and Corporate Governance – 6 hrs. CPE
A corporate scandal involves alleged or actual unethical behavior by people acting within or on behalf of a corporation. Since the turn of the century, the U.S. has seen some large corporate collapses and scandals due to shoddy and deceptive accounting practices. Many companies, shareholders and employees suffered as stock prices fell and reputations were tarnished when businesses such as Nokia, Lucent Technologies, energy, and internet-related businesses conducted questionable practices. This course examines developments in finance and accounting and a series of corporate accounting scandals on the heels of the Enron debacle that have led to current sweeping accounting guidelines, proposals, and legislation—most notably, the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX Act). Many of the issues surrounding the SOX Act, especially Section 404, Internal Control over Financial Reporting and Sections 302 and 906, Management Certifications —are discussed. The general issues on corporate governance and corporate social responsibility (CSR), including stock option expensing, are also covered. The illegal practice of stock option backdating is described as well.