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Pain blamed on US red-tape zealots eager to tick boxes

Pain blamed on US red-tape zealots eager to tick boxes

by Rick Turoczy on July 11, 2006

Think about your morning routine, says Eric Hutchinson, chief financial officer of Spirent Communications. “We all get up, clean our teeth and have a cup of tea. Well, imagine you have to document all that, explain any deviation from the normal routine and get your partner to certify it,” he says.

“And every now and again an auditor will come round and check you’ve done it. That’s what it feels like complying with Sarbanes-Oxley.”

Yet experts say section 404, which contains rules on internal control reporting, has been made more painful than it needs to be by overzealous box-tickers, who have not grasped the law’s origins or intentions.

“The way auditors are approaching compliance has been incredibly detailed, staggeringly detailed,” says Mr Hutchinson. “They were putting in controls that were over the top.”

Pain blamed on US red-tape zealots eager to tick boxes

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