We thought we'd share this interesting question:
From Ignacio (Iggy) F.
• Can you provide an opinion about SOX and Latin America. I need information for a personal project related to companies listed on the NYSE and what are their main concern of these companies related to corporate governance & SOX. Thanks!! iggy
Iggy, The main difference between SOX in Latin American and the USA relates to the corporate legal documents that are filed with their version of a Chamber of Commerce and what this means to the company employee. These documents define the legal structure of the company and are binding on the individual meaning; the government will hold the individual accountable for the responsibilities set in the document. For instance, the legal documents are typically very granular and could state that the Controller is responsible for the legitimacy of all payments made by the company up to $50,000. If there were an issue found with a payment under $50,000, the government would investigate and if there were a true issue, the Controller would be liable personally without any ability for the company to protect them. I have found that this level of governmental enforcement actually causes Sarbanes-Oxley implementations in Latin countries to be easier since they are already knowledgeable about having personal responsibility and accountability. I was told that this level of governmental enforcement was instituted as a reaction to the cartels. It is very interesting. Aside from this, all of the usual controls over AP, AR, Financial Statement Close, Entity, etc. apply just as they would here.
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