The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) -- along with regulations adopted by the stock exchanges and others shortly thereafter -- did cause some improvements in corporate governance practices. Yet much more needs to be done -- not to increase regulation, but to improve corporate performance. Companies must address four criteria (competence, ethics, diligence, and independence) for board membership when considering both new board members as well as ongoing ones. To achieve productive meetings, the CEO shouldn't set the agenda -- an independent board chair or lead director should do so. The focus must constantly remain on the board's responsibilities and how to collaborate with the CEO yet maintain independence. Financial professionals should be critically involved in improving corporate accountability. Providing information for internal decision making is a central role of management accountants. Central to the corporate accounting and finance functions is the reporting of information to external users that's useful for decision making in addition to the mandatory disclosures required by regulators.
C OV E R STO R Y Corporate Governance Is Changing: Are You a Leader or a Laggard? By Marc J. Epstein and Marie-Josée Roy Tragedy struck when 29 miners died in an explosion on April 5, 2010, at a Massey Energy-owned coal mine in West Virginia. Shortly after the explosi
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