What does Sarbanes-Oxley mean?

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The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, also known as SOX, is a United States federal law enacted in response to the high profile Enron and WorldCom financial scandals. It was put in place to protect shareholders and the general public from accounting errors and fraudulent practices in the enterprise. The legislation set new standards for all U.S. public company boards, management and public accounting firms. It does not apply to privately held companies.

Sarbanes-Oxley does not specify how a business should store records but which records are to be stored and for how long. The Act states that all business records, including electronic records and electronic messages must be saved for ‘not less than five years’. With the huge increase in the use of email, the retention of email messages is of major importance. Moreover, the ability to track and monitor every incoming and outgoing email is critical for compliance with the legislation. By using IPC’s automated email archiving tool, M.Message, it is possible to securely store, manage and retrieve every message and attachment that pass through a company’s email server every day, giving a fully auditable trail of all email activity.

Sarbanes-Oxley does not just regulate U.S. companies, the Act now applies to European companies listed on the U.S. Stock Exchange and also subsidiaries of U.S. Corporations.

Indeed, the European Union now have a similar piece of legislation, the 8th Company Law Directive which addresses the same issues of accountability and transparency of business practices.

A small investment in M.Message could save massive financial penalties for non-compliance, so contact The IPC Group now for full details.

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