Until now, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) has primarily been the concern of senior executives and finance officers. However, new requirements, scheduled to take effect later this year, could mean changes for meeting planners as well, including closer scrutiny of expense reporting and more stringent documentation requirements.

Introduced by Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) and Representative Michael Oxley (R-OH), the bill was enacted in 2002 to increase corporate responsibility and curtail accounting scandals. The area of concern is section 404 of the Act, which becomes law August 15 for large corporations and June 15, 2005 for smaller publicly traded companies. The legislation does not affect private companies, except those planning to go public.

For more on how this act will affect meetings, look for the May issue of CMI.