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PCAOB Adopts Key AeA Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 Implementation Recommendations; Recommendations Outlined in AeA Report, ''Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404: The 'Section' of Unintended Consequences and its Impact on Small Business''.

WASHINGTON -- The following statement is attributed to William T. Archey, President and CEO of AeA, the nation's largest high-tech trade association, in response to guidance on Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 released today by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB):

"AeA and its member companies are pleased the PCAOB today released guidance on Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404. This guidance specifically addresses many of the problems with implementation raised by AeA in its February 10, 2005 report and during its meetings with the PCAOB over the past several months. We are optimistic this guidance will provide our member companies with much needed relief, however, its true effectiveness will greatly depend on actions by the auditors.

"This new guidance will help our member companies save money and ease the unnecessary and unfair burden Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 has placed on companies of all sizes. Among other things, today's guidance stresses the importance of professional judgment by external auditors, something that has been missing during what has become a 'check the box' process. It also encourages more direct and timely communication between auditors and audit clients, and reiterates that this should not be a 'one size fits all' approach, particularly for small- and medium-sized companies.

"AeA's work on Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 has been a grassroots effort in the truest sense, and the concerns and recommendations presented by AeA member companies through meetings and our recent report clearly resonated with the members of the PCAOB. Following the same process, our member companies will be reviewing today's guidance and providing feedback.

"I would like to thank Chairman William McDonough and the other members and staff of the PCAOB for their leadership and responsiveness to the concerns presented by AeA and its nearly 3,000 member companies. This guidance is intended to bring immediate relief to public companies in year two of implementation, but again, appropriate auditor action is needed to achieve this. We look forward to further working with the PCAOB and the Securities and Exchange Commission on this issue in the coming weeks and months."

About AeA

AeA, founded in 1943, is a nationwide trade association that represents all segments of the technology industry and is dedicated solely to helping our members' top line and bottom line. We do this in partnership with our small, medium, and large member companies by lobbying governments at the state, federal, and international levels, providing access to capital and business opportunities, and offering select business services and networking programs. For more information, please visit http://www.aeanet.org.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 16, 2005
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