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Sarbanes-Oxley For Dummies [Paperback]

Jill Gilbert Welytok


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Book Description

Feb. 10 2006 For Dummies (Lifestyles Paperback)
Whether you’re a CEO or a file clerk, it’s important to understand Sarbanes-Oxley, the post-Enron legislation aimed at keeping corporations honest and ethical. However, with over eighty pages of dense, wordy language in the statute and thousands of pages of related congressional hearings, getting a firm grip of SOX can fluster even the most well-informed businessperson.

Sarbanes-Oxley For Dummies is the no-nonsense, plain-English guide to this new law that leads you through its rules and pronouncements, giving you a sense of how to anticipate future trends and traps in this area of the law. With this trusty book, you’ll get a handle on the important aspects of the legislation, how it affects you and your company, and how companies can comply more cost-effectively. It provides you with the knowledge to:

  • Understand why SOX was created
  • Determine what aspects of SOX apply to your company
  • Develop meaningful standards for your company
  • Institute cost-effective compliance with SOX
  • Manage and streamline Section 404 compliance
  • Find specific SEC laws and pronouncements
  • Interpret media accounts, court cases, and economic projections
  • Avoid lawsuits and regulatory actions
  • Anticipate future SEC rules and PCAOB pronouncements

This book also shows you how to build an effective audit committee and makes suggestions on sensible precautions that every manager should take in order to avoid legal troubles. Complete with the entire Sarbanes-Oxley act and sample documents, Sarbanes-Oxley For Dummies helps you discover how to follow the law and protect your business.


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Review

"...an informative read..." (Accounting Technician, May 2006)

From the Back Cover

Understand what Congress really intended when it passed Sarbanes-Oxley

Whether you're a CEO or a small business owner, complying with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act won't be simple. Fortunately, this easy, plain-English guide explains all the bill's provisions and gives you and your firm an effective framework for implementation. Sarbanes-Oxley For Dummies gives you all the help you need to comply with the law — and maintain your credibility.

Discover how to

  • Minimize compliance costs in every area of your company
  • Create an efficient audit committee
  • Survive a Section 404 audit
  • Avoid litigation under SOX
  • Purchase and use SOX software solutions

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In response to a loss of confidence among American investors reminiscent of the Great Depression, President George W. Bush signed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act into law on July 30, 2002. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  30 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The easiest way to learn about SOX Oct. 17 2006
By Douglas J. Tucker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The author has somehow found a way to make this incredibly arcane subject interesting and easy to digest. This book, unlike every other SOX book I have seen, is filled with practice tips, checklists and witty commentary and is written in a way that makes the statute and the SEC's rules easy to understand for lawyers and non-lawyers alike. It also provides other key sources of SOX information and is a pleasure to read. She should consider changing the title to "Sarbanes-Oxley for Lawyers, Executives and other Dummies who Don't Have the Time or Patience to Wade Through the Other Dry and Boring Books on the Subject". I highly recommend this book to lawyers and non-lawyers alike.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Entry-Level Primer on SarBox Feb. 23 2006
By Christopher Byrne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
For some people, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 represents pain and expense. For others it represents opportunity. For almost everybody, it represents confusion, misunderstanding and uncertainty. This statement goes for CEOs, CIOs, staff, and even the outside auditors. So how does one explain it in as straight forward and simply as possible? One place to start would be to hand them a copy of the Jill Gilbert Welytok's Sarbanes-Oxley for Dummies (2006, John Wiley and Sons, 384 Pages, ISBN 0471768464). While not perfect, the book will provide a quick and dirty overview of SarBox, its history, its historical context, what it requires, and more importantly, what it does not require.

The book starts out with the saga of SarBox. The author covers the political environment, loopholes that existed before the legislation, and how the legislation sought to close them. The author also attempts to debunk myths about SarBox. For this reader, the most important myth is that "internal control means data security". The author states up front and for all to hear that SarBox does not specify any specific data security requirements. This is something all auditors and auditees need to hear and accept.

Chapter 2 covers "SOX in 60 Seconds", or what a sales person might call the "elevator pitch". Essentially this is the who, what, where and why. From here, the author goes into more details about how SarBox fits into the context of other securities regulations and laws. An important part of this chapter (Chapter 3) is the discussion why private companies should and do care are about the legislation and rules. In Chapter 4, SarBox and how it ties into specific financial statements such as the income statement and balance sheet. For those unfamiliar with these statements, it is a good quick and dirt overview.

Part II of the book goes into more details about roles and responsibilities under SarBox. This starts out with the auditors, and then the discussion extends to the audit committee, the board of directors, management and employees. The most important point to take home from this section is that in order to play the game, you have to 'know the playbook'. The rules of the game have changed and everyone needs to know the roles and responsibilities.

Part III of the book goes into a detailed overview of controls and audits. An important aspect of this is clearing up confusion about how the definition of controls is distinct in Sections 302 and 404. From here, the author covers what is covered under a 404 audit, how not to live in fear of it, and how it can be leveraged for success.

Part IV of the book, "Software for SOX Techies", is the weakest part of the book for this reader. The author does give some tips about specific tools. However, the tools selected are very narrow in scope. The discussion seems to miss the important point that organizations should look to build a "compliance oriented architecture" as opposed to buying silo-based solutions.

The remaining parts of the book cover the SarBox horizon, the potential legal repercussions (including discussions about who can and cannot file lawsuits and when they can be filed), the impact of SarBox on outsourcing, and more. Finally, the book goes into "rules of tens", such as 10 ways to avoid prosecution, 10 tips for an effective audit committee, and more.

As I said earlier, the book provides a good quick and dirty overview. It falls short in its discussion of software tools. The other thing that I did not like was the inclusion of the full text of the Act as an appendix. No, not the fact that they included it, but the fact that the text was entirely too small to be read. At that point, they should have just left it out.

Who Should Read This Book?

This book should be read by anybody who has an interest in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and its implications but does not want to get into too much detail. There are better titles for CEOs and CFOs who want a detailed discussion. But for the quick and dirty, it is a good first read on the topic.

The Scorecard

Par on an average Par 4
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written... Jan. 23 2007
By dcarp54 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a CPA that has been doing ERP and tax related work. I accepted a position for a corporate client doing SOX compliance. The book gave a great overview on the SOX issue. I recommend this book if you are needing to familiarize yourself with SOX.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finding Even a Bit of Humor in SOX July 6 2006
By John Matlock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Sarbanes-Oxley (usually called SOX) was a congressional response to a bunch of big time business failures such as Enron. The law was rather rushed through to wide bi-partisan support. In their rush, Congress passed a pretty general law almost an outline, leaving the details to be defined by the Securities and exchange Commission (SEC). As with a lot of such laws, we have:

1. What it appears that Congress intended.

2. What the SEC has issued.

3. What the courts have subsequently ruled.

This book presents the whole story of SOX from a high overhead view, and it does so in a surprisingly entertaining way for what is basically an accounting book. The author seems to have not only a theoretical understanding of SOX but presents a view of 'Here's the rules, then here's the real rules, then this is what the future rules might look like.'

All in all, SOX is the biggest change in the accounting rules in decades. While it was intended for big public companies it has become the standard by which even small private companies are held. The cost of compliance is huge, and may make a big change in the overall ability of new companies to get started.

SOX also reaches down to the employee level, even in some cases to quite low level employees.

This is the best book I've seen on trying to make sense out of SOX and all its implications.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The dummies title is deceptive. Feb. 26 2006
By Tracey Warad, CFO - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is actually a pretty sophisticated reference book. I was surprised to see a Sarbanes-Oxley Dummies book, and ended up taking a look at it more out of curiousity than anything. It turned out to be just what I needed to get a better understanding in this area, as the CFO of a company that is about to be acquired and will soon have to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley. I bought a number of books on the subject and this is surprisingly the most useful reference. I think it also great that the author, an attorney and CPA, put her contact information in the book in case readers have questions and she is starting a special update website and forum for Sarbanes-Oxley professionals. I do wish the book reviewed more products and hope the the author posts information on her Website about SOX products that are available and other professionals take time to do the same.

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