The Sarbanes-Oxley Act
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 significantly increased the importance of investor relations in the financial markets. The act established new requirements for corporate governance and regulatory compliance, with an increased emphasis on accuracy in auditing and public disclosure. Notable provisions of the act which apply to investor relations include enhanced financial disclosures and accuracy of financial reports, real-time disclosures, off-balance-sheet transaction disclosures, pro forma financial disclosures, management assessment of internal controls, and corporate responsibility for financial reports. More specifically, Sarbanes-Oxley sections 301, 302, 404, and 802 have been of particular interest to companies improving corporate compliance. Similar to Sarbanes-Oxley are Bill 198 in Canada, Financial Security Law of France in France, and J-SOX in Japan. The European MiFID Directive, although principally concerned with investor protection, also covers regulation and compliance for listed European companies.
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