Help on disseratation re. Section 404... PLEASE help... 1274

  • Hi everyone,
    I am about to begin work on my dissertation title ‘Can multinational companies (MNC) use Sarbanes Oxley as a bridge to better business efficiency?’
    I am struggling to think of what data I could use to analyse in order to answer the above question. So far I have drawn up a questionnaire asking about changes in controls and efficiency which I am about to send to a large MNC however ideally I would like to have some numerical data to prove/disprove the title.
    If anyone has any ideas or recommendations as to the type of data I would be able to obtain and which would be of use to me, please let me know. Any help would be much appreciated.
    Thanking you in advance
    Joanne 😄

  • Joanne:
    a couple of immediate thoughts:

    1. How are you defining ‘better business efficiency’? Any definition/question would have to be framed so that the questionnaire response(s) can be quantified.
    2. How do multi-national companies differ from other companies complying with SOx? If you have a reason to distinguish the MNCs from others, it may help more clearly define/narrow the scope of your questions to the companies. Further, I’m not sure that multi-national companies are all alike regarding SOx or anything else. So, you may want to more clearly define your population. (Which, you may have, but I think it’s important to know/consider.)
    3. Many companies have not maintained complete, accurate and valid cost accounting for the SOx projects, and it may be too soon to quantify the long-term savings/costs from being compliant. (So, you’ll need to determine and prove causality.)
    4. Be prepared for anecdotal responses. Everyone has an opinion about SOx costs (and claim that there is no benefit without really knowing).
    5. A sample size of one is not going to be statistically valid with any precision, so you won’t be able to project the results over a population, but may be a basis for future questionnaires/data. (Note: this point has not stopped others in extrapolating SOx costs to the economy in general. But, that’s a different rant.)
      I’d be happy to review your questionnaire and help with quant-type questions, if you’d like. You can e-mail me directly at
      At any rate, it sounds like a great project and I’m looking forward to your published results. Maybe you should change your screen-name from ‘student2005’ to ‘ABD2005’.
      Good luck and let me know if I can help.
      Best regards.

  • Hi,
    In addition to John’s comments/feedback, you might consider obtaining a survey performed by PwC in 11/05, ‘U.S. Multinationals Looking Beyond Initial Sarbanes 404 Compliance to Business Improvement’
    The Survey findings were compiled from interviews with 131 CFOs and Managing Directors, completed in July, 2005 and would certainly contain a lot of relevant statistics and quantifiable information.
    The Survey contact information:
    PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Management Barometer is developed and compiled with assistance from the opinion and economic research firm of BSI Global Research, Inc. Additional information is available from Mr. Pete Collins, survey director and publisher,
    Key Takeaways:

    • Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 compliance seen as valuable and successful
    • Cost reductions expected
    • Internal reaction is positive
    • Quarterly alignment is proceeding
    • No clear consensus on leadership of future Sarbanes-Oxley matters
      Again, the survey results and complete report will include much more detail and data that might be useful to author a dissertation and expand upon the survey findings.
      Good luck,

Log in to reply