The Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002 (also known as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act 0f 2002) was passed by US lawmakers to reinforce honest and transparent corporate practices in the wake of the various public accounting scandals and corporate failures of the 1990s. The Act, named after US Senator Paul S. Sarbanes and US Congressman Michael G. Oxley, has changed the way public companies do business. Although not specifically covered under the Act, non-public entities are also finding that bankers, investors, and acquisition candidates are now conditioned to expect increased transparency and real-time disclosures, in effect placing a greater accounting and reporting burden on companies that are not legally obligated to comply with this act. As with any far-reaching legislation of this magnitude, there is plenty of hype that has emerged in connection with this law. This document is designed to help companies large and small navigate some of the "hype" that sometimes blurs the line between fact and fiction.
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