Graduation Year

2016

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Business Studies

Program or Major

Accounting

Faculty Advisor

Francis Marino

Keywords

Internal auditing, Business ethics, Corporate accounting, Law and legislation, Disclosure of information

Abstract

This thesis is an examination of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) that was passed in response to a wave of accounting frauds, including Enron and WorldCom. Paul Sarbanes and Michael Oxley established SOX in an attempt to restore investors' confidence in the financial statements of publicly traded companies. However, there are critical elements of financial reporting that it fails to address, like audit firm rotation, audit firm credibility and management's tone at the top. Mandatory audit firm rotation and credible audit firms are believed to result in high-quality audits while management's tone at the top is reflected through the honesty and accuracy of the financial statements produced. A combination of these three aspects will help to further restore investor confidence in the financial statements of public companies in the future and this project makes a case for these amendments to SOX in order to help accomplish this.