Sarbanes Oxley Act Section 701

 

TITLE VII—STUDIES AND REPORTS
 
SEC. 701. GAO STUDY AND REPORT REGARDING CONSOLIDATION OF
PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRMS.
 
(a) STUDY REQUIRED.—
The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study—
 
(1) to identify—
 
(A) the factors that have led to the consolidation of
public accounting firms since 1989 and the consequent
reduction in the number of firms capable of providing audit
services to large national and multi-national business
organizations that are subject to the securities laws;
 
(B) the present and future impact of the condition
described in subparagraph (A) on capital formation and
securities markets, both domestic and international; and
 
(C) solutions to any problems identified under subparagraph
(B), including ways to increase competition and the
number of firms capable of providing audit services to
large national and multinational business organizations
that are subject to the securities laws;
 
(2) of the problems, if any, faced by business organizations
that have resulted from limited competition among public
accounting firms, including—
 
(A) higher costs;
 
(B) lower quality of services;
 
(C) impairment of auditor independence; or
 
(D) lack of choice; and
 
(3) whether and to what extent Federal or State regulations
impede competition among public accounting firms.
 
(b) CONSULTATION.—In planning and conducting the study
under this section, the Comptroller General shall consult with—
 
(1) the Commission;
 
(2) the regulatory agencies that perform functions similar
to the Commission within the other member countries of the
Group of Seven Industrialized Nations;
 
(3) the Department of Justice; and
 
(4) any other public or private sector organization that
the Comptroller General considers appropriate.
 
(c) REPORT REQUIRED.—Not later than 1 year after the date
of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit
a report on the results of the study required by this section to
the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the
Senate and the Committee on Financial Services of the House
of Representatives.

 
   

 

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