It is a transparency and control law issued by the U.S. government on July 30, 2002 following a series of corporate scandals that affected certain U.S. companies at the end of 2001, as a consequence of bankruptcy, fraud and other inappropriate management practices.
The most important objectives of SOX include:
- Establishing standards for corporate committees.
- Establishing accounting standards and criminal penalties for corporate managers.
- Establishing independent standards for external auditors.
- The requirement for publicly listed businesses to ensure the accuracy of the assessments of their internal controls included in their financial reports, as well as for the independent auditors of these businesses to confirm this transparency and accuracy.
- Certification of financial reports by the company's executive and financial committee.
- The requirement for companies to have a completely independent audit committee to oversee the relationship between the company and its audit.