FEI President and CEO Marie Hollein Provides Testimony before House Committee on Financial Services on Sarbanes-Oxley Impact

- Hollein: C-Suite Requirement on Financial Statement Certification Is Crown Jewel of SOX; Sets Tone From the Top, Increases Accountability and Drives Corporate Governance -

Jul 26, 2012, 08:00 ET from Financial Executives International

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Marie Hollein, President and CEO of Financial Executives International (FEI), the premier organization for senior-level financial executives, will testify at a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises.  Ms. Hollein will provide testimony on behalf of the organization on the topic of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, discussing the 10th anniversary of the regulation and its impact on the economy and the U.S. capital markets. 

"Integrity is the necessary first principle for effective markets," Ms. Hollein said today in prepared testimony. "Every investor depends on accurate and reliable financial reporting. Without the trust that comes with market integrity and sound corporate governance, investors withdraw, capital markets wither, companies cannot grow and jobs become scarce."

FEI has been at the forefront of the Sarbanes-Oxley debate, offering several recommendations that were eventually adopted into the legislation. FEI also recommended to its members the importance of adhering to a specialized code of ethical conduct, which resulted in the requirement that a company's CEO, CFO and/or CAO certify the firm's financial statements.

"The requirement that CEOs and CFOs personally certify their company's financial statements is the crown jewel of Sarbanes-Oxley. This personal responsibility sets the tone from the top, increasing accountability and driving better corporate governance," added Ms. Hollein. 

FEI has also annually evaluated the cost of compliance on its members.  FEI's 2005 survey on Sarbanes-Oxley implementation showed a 66 percent increase in external consulting costs and a 58 percent increase in auditors' fees. In FEI's most recent 2011 audit fee survey, public company respondents said that fees continue to rise, but at a slower rate, averaging five percent from the prior year.

"As we consider new laws, remember that regulations are not the only path to better markets. FEI is stepping up to the plate to research, improve and share best practices in deterring and detecting fraud," added Ms. Hollein. 

FEI is a founding member of the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO), which aims to help companies strengthen their internal controls and fraud deterrence practices. FEI is also a member of the Anti-Fraud Collaboration, which draws on expertise from across the financial reporting supply chain, and sponsors anti-fraud education and projects.

The House Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Capital Markets hearing will take place on Thursday, July 26, 2012 at 9:30 AM in the 2128 Rayburn House Office Building. The full testimony can be found on the Committee's website. For those outside of Washington, the hearing can be viewed through the Committee's website at http://financialservices.house.gov/Calendar/?EventTypeID=309. Click "live webcasts" under the "Connect" section on the lower left of the page.

About FEI

Financial Executives International is the leading advocate for the views of corporate financial management. Its 15,000 members hold policy-making positions as chief financial officers, treasurers and controllers at companies from every major industry. Founded in 1931, FEI enhances member professional development through peer networking, career management services, conferences, teleconferences and publications. Members participate in the activities of 86 chapters, 74 in the U.S., 11 in Canada and 1 in Japan. FEI is headquartered in Morristown, NJ, with additional offices in Washington, D.C. and Toronto.  Visit www.financialexecutives.org for more information.


SOURCE Financial Executives International