"Here’s what we know about Sarbanes-Oxley: It is one of the most significant changes to federal securities laws in history; it has been difficult and expensive to implement for publicly traded U.S. companies; and it is here to stay. Despite its drawbacks and costs, Sarbanes-Oxley has helped boost shareholder confidence, and it may even boost shareholder value by helping companies operate more efficiently going forward."[snip]
"The overall increase in financial scrutiny, coupled with this new, up-close and personal tie between executive and the corporate information being disseminated by corporations–and the costs associated with it–has sparked an ongoing debate in boardrooms across the country. Earlier this year, Financial Executives International (FEI), surveyed 217 public companies and found that it took an average of 26,000 additional staff hours and about $4.3 million to fully comply with Section 404. The SEC originally estimated the tab to be $91,000 per company. Fortunately, the initially onerous financial burdens of Section 404 are now dropping." (Emphasis added)
BTW, author Colleen Cunningham is president & CEO of Financial Executives International.