WASHINGTON – With final rules for complying with Sarbanes-Oxley internal controls expected in the near future, Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Ranking Member Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship pressed the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) to provide additional time and assistance for small public companies to comply with the upcoming final rules. Specifically, Kerry and Snowe asked SEC Chairman Christopher Cox and PCAOB Chairman Mark Olson to allow small non-accelerated filers up to one additional year to comply with any changes to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley law. Kerry held a hearing in the Small Business Committee on Sarbanes-Oxley last month where witnesses advocated for the delay and other assistance for small firms. Kerry and Snowe also wrote to the SEC and PCAOB in February during the comment period on the final rules. In the letter to the chairmen, Kerry and Snowe also asked:

  • The SEC to fully assess the economic impacts to small companies of the new rules and to publish a small business compliance assistance guide;
  • The PCAOB to carefully monitor auditors so that small public companies do not face undue red tape beyond the law's requirement;
  • The SEC's Advisory Committee on Smaller Public Companies to report regularly on the law's impact on small firms and how costs can be reduced; and
  • The SEC to consider raising the shareholder threshold for securities registration, which hasn't been adjusted for nearly 40 years.
  • To read the Kerry-Snowe letter to the SEC and PCAOB, please click here.