Assessing the Success of Sarbanes-Oxley

26 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2015

See all articles by Jeffrey Ray

Jeffrey Ray

Swiss Management Center (SMC) University; University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

Date Written: July 9, 2012


This paper evaluates the success that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act has had in the market place. It initially assesses improvements the act has made to restore public confidence in the auditing process, and their effectiveness. It then assesses provisions made to improve the ability of boards of directors to monitor and correct abuses of power by corporate executives. Having concluded the quality of auditing processes and the boards monitoring function is still inadequate despite the enactment of Sarbanes-Oxley; it then analyzes published data on the incidents of fraud. The results of the analysis indicate that, in general, Sarbanes-Oxley has done little to stop the tidal wave of fraud occurrences, nor does it limit their consequences. This paper concludes, therefore, that Sarbanes-Oxley has not been successful.

Keywords: corporate governance, Sarbanes-Oxley, SOX, PL 107-204, 116 Stat 745, auditing, integrity, board of directors, BoD, fraud

JEL Classification: E61, G30, G38, H11, P11

Suggested Citation

Ray, Jeffrey, Assessing the Success of Sarbanes-Oxley (July 9, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Jeffrey Ray (Contact Author)

Swiss Management Center (SMC) University ( email )

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University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) ( email )

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(410) 455-2537 (Phone)


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