There are many rules and regulations in the field of accounting. Many of these are created for the interest of the public, who rely upon a company's financial statements and accounting practices as the basis of their investments.

SEC.JPGThe Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is an organization that is the primary overseer and regulator of the U.S. securities markets. The SEC enforces the many different securities laws that apply to all publicly traded companies. Essentially, the SEC requires publicly traded companies to make their financial information available to the public. The SEC will take civil enforcement action against a company or person suspected of insider trading, accounting fraud, or providing false or misleading information about securities and the companies that issue them. One resource that is useful for learning more about the SEC and its different regulations is the official government website for the Securities and Exchange Commission. This website includes basic information such as what the SEC is, how it was created, and the current SEC commissioners. The different laws and regulations that govern the securities industry is available for publicly traded companies as well. One can also find investor information, including different resources such as the EDGAR database, in which information on all public companies may be found in one place.

sarbanes_largeimage.jpgOne of the most recent changes in accounting law was the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, also known as SOX, is a law with a set of changes to regulations of corporate governance and financial practice already in place. It was enacted following multiple corporate scandals, such as the widely known Enron case. These new regulations are for the benefit of the public's interest. SOX is intended to deter and punish corporations and individuals within those corporations from corrupt practices. One great resource for finding information on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 is the website for the Sarbanes-Oxley Community Forum. This site is a place to learn about SOX, as well as communicate with other individuals and businesses who are becoming SOX compliant.

To read the full SOX law, click here.

AICPA.JPGA resource that is useful for auditors, as well as others in the accounting profession, is the website for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). This website provides information for auditors about the professional auditing standardswhich auditors must follow. These standards concern an auditor's professional qualities and their judgement when completing an audit and issuing the final audit report. Information relating to proposed statements, practice aids and tools, and risk assessment are also available for auditing use. One helpful area is about the Auditing Standards Board (ASB), which issues auditing standards and guidelines. One may also find information regarding technical help, such as specific SEC regulations and rulings, ethics, and taxation matters. All of the information provided concerns accountants, and may be extremely helpful.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (2007). Retrieved on February 3, 2007 from

Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Journal. (2007). Photo retrieved on February 6, 2007 from

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act Community Forum. (2007). Retrieved on February 6, 2007 from

Exceler8ion. (2007). Photo retrieved on February 6, 2007 from

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). (2007). Retrieved on February 5, 2007 from

FindLaw. (2007). Retrieved February 5, 2007 from

Friedman, Cohen, Taubman & Company. (2004). Logo-AICPA. Photo retrieved on February 5, 2007 from