Central to the Sarbanes–Oxley Act was a requirement that every company have an audit of its internal control over financial reporting. However, there were concerns that this requirement was overly burdensome, from a financial perspective, for small businesses. This concern promoted several delays in enforcing the law for small companies and ultimately caused congress to permanently exempt small businesses. Yet, there are some small companies that voluntarily elect to comply with the law. The purpose of this paper is to explore why these companies elect to incur these costly audits.
Using a sample of 5,834 non-accelerator US firms, this paper uses a robust logistic regression model to examine why some firms comply voluntary with SOX Section 404(b).
This study shows that small companies getting audits of internal controls may be doing so to restore investor confidence after reporting failures, to appear credible prior to raising funds, as a response to organizational changes, or in anticipation of being required to comply.
This study provides regulators with an improved understanding of when it is necessary to implement mandatory rather than voluntary guidance.
This study is the first to document why a client would voluntarily comply with SOX Section 404 (b).
Blankley, A., Hurtt, D. and MacGregor, J. (2019), "An exploration of the choice to comply voluntarily with SOX section 404(b)", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 35 No. 1, pp. 93-110. https://doi.org/10.1108/MAJ-10-2018-2023Download as .RIS
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