The Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002, sometimes referred to as SOX, was a legislative response to the accounting scandal caused by the recent fall of some publicly held companies and the perceived excesses of the management of some other companies. Sarbanes-Oxley requires compliance with a comprehensive reform of accounting procedures for publicly held corporations to promote and improve the quality and transparency of financial reporting by both internal and external independent auditors.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act’s emphasis on corporate governance means tighter control of business processes for public corporations. A simple error — such as an incorrectly entered transaction, purchase or work order — can represent millions of dollars in fines if not detected and corrected in time. Financial management demands more visibility, more control and more efficiency.
The SOX impact on IT involves the controls used in the IT environment, specifically change management, operations, and security.
Here’s some new news: Sarbanes Oxley implementation postponed again
The US Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that it will delay moves to an accelerated filing period for annual reports. This is expected to ease the transition for big companies to the year-end reporting required under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Update : More here IT Risks and Controls Frequently Asked Questions wrt SOX