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Ninety per cent of CFOs say SOx costs outweigh benefits, says survey

Nearly nine out of every 10 CFOs say the costs of complying with Sarbanes-Oxley legislation are greater than the benefits, according to a study released this month by JD Power and Associates, a US based consultancy. The study also finds that many of those involved in the auditing process, from senior management to the audit committee, are feeling the pressure of increased requirements.

"In this period of tumultuous change in the accounting industry, Sarbanes-Oxley is heavily taxing the financial audit process," says Ron Conlin, partner at JD Power and Associates. "Many parties?from internal management to the board of directors to the auditors themselves?are struggling."

Perhaps more worrying - and only adding to the anxiety surrounding corporate governance - is a low level of confidence in the external auditors employed by corporations. Just 44% of CFOs showed high confidence in the accounting industry.

The study was based on interviews with 1,007 audit committee chairs and 944 CFOs. Further information on the JD Power and Associates 2004 Audit Firm Performance Study is available on: www.jdpower.com

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