Sarbanes-Oxley probably saves a lot more companies from going under and countless people in America from losing their jobs. It’s funny that we talked about this and Enron in class because shortly after I had a discussion with my guidance counselor who worked for Enron and quick 6 months before the chaos ensued. When I asked him whether he had any idea what was happening he was brief and mentioned that it was something that even surprised him and there was no doubt that he was relieved to have “jumped ship” when he did. Although still possible, SOX has proven to be a shield again erroneous accounting because now, for the most part, CFOs are looking over their shoulder as there is more visibility into their finances. Its only comedic that its taken us X number of years since the birth of the business to realize that transparency is needed.
But it’s astonishing how a CFO, although brilliant, would be able to kept such erroneous record to themselves for so long. It was touted that Enron’s fall should have warned us for what was coming in 2008 but as we have shown too many times before, we simply do not learn from our mistakes. I was reading an article a year or so back that mentioned that, like in the case of Enron, people who looked over Bernie Madoff’s finances knew that something did not add up. All it would have ten was for someone to say, “Hey, I don’t understand this can you please explain it to me.” and both schemes would have been halted long before they would have built enough clout to affect so many when they came crashing down. The article mentioned that it was too sad that it took so long for some to step up and ask the question “How?”