Sarbanes-Oxley

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IN THIS REPORT

Finance and HR often seem to live in two different worlds. That's been especially true since the passage of Sarbanes-Oxley: While finance executives have scrambled to comply with new reporting and certification requirements, benefits caretakers have largely watched from the sidelines.

That's changing. Under Sarbanes-Oxley Section 302, CFOs and CEOs must certify that their companies' quarterly and annual filings are true and that they omit no material facts. And facts about employee health care are becoming nothing if not more material: Employee benefits now typically represent a company's third-biggest expense, trailing only cost of goods sold and non-manufacturing payroll.

What's more, in order to sign off on those filings, finance chiefs arguably must have some grasp of the statements' underlying content. That can be an especially formidable challenge in the retiree-benefits arena, where a transparency-challenged accounting system holds sway. CFO.com deputy editor David Katz investigates in our feature article, ''Sarbanes-Oxley and Health Plans.''

FEATURE ARTICLE

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