Thursday, December 28, 2006

Apple stock options backdating and SOX Section 404

With the latest revelation that someone at Apple Computer falsified records to give the appearance that a full board meeting had taken place to approve giving 7.5 million stock options to CEO Steve Jobs, why is there still any debate about the need for public companies to have strict internal controls? (See Apple ‘falsified’ files on Jobs’ options.) With executive pay procedures being circumvented in stock option backdating cases, and with German companies having secret slush funds to bribe foreign government officials, why are there still any questions over whether these internal controls need to be tested by outside auditors?

And speaking of secret slush funds, I don't mean to be picking on only the Germans here. Apparently British companies also have secret slush funds -- with the difference being that the British government is even more reluctant to investigate them. (See Blair pressed on BAE bribe probe.)

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