Publication Date

Spring 2005


School of Business


Accounting; Business: Finance

Primary Subject Area

Business Administration, Accounting


This thesis examines in detail the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, including the historical events leading up to its enactment and its subsequent effect on the accounting profession. Congress approved the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on July 30, 2002, during the disclosure of immense pecuniary fraud perpetrated by many of America's largest companies. The Act created new requirements and restrictions for auditors, management, and corporations in hopes of correcting and preventing some of the troubles America was facing at the time. The Act establishes the five-member Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, giving it the authority and power to write rules and enforce penalties, which the Securities and Exchange Commission may evaluate. Violations of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board's rules are considered violations of the 1934 Securities Act.

This thesis expresses the importance of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act's implementation as well as the impact of the new laws on the auditing function of the accounting profession. Implementation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act will hopefully restore the trust of the people and provide reasonable assurance that there will be harsh consequences for unethical and dishonest practices in the auditing profession.