The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Its Impact on European Companies

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Its Impact on European Companies
Peter Krimmer
160 (121 text)
Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Vienna (AUSTRIA)
Type of Thesis
Master's Thesis
November 2005
Sehr Gut (U.S. Grade Equivalents: A+)   Certificate (Beurteilungsprotokoll)
Obtainable at:
The thesis was published as book (ISBN 3865502431) under the title "Sarbanes Oxley Compliance. Identifying Gains and Costs of European Companies". The book can be purchased - among others - from

The thesis can also be downloaded from

Access Quantitative Survey Results
Click here
The present thesis examines the impact of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOA) on European companies and identifies their attitude towards its provisions. To raise the information needed, from May until the end of June 2005 all affected European companies (290) received access to the online questionnaire.

Overall almost twenty percent responded to the questionnaire. The following key findings have been identified:

• The smaller a company is, the more problems it has to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

• The degree of the top management’s involvement in the compliance process plays a crucial role.

• Almost every company has a formal code of ethics in place, but their senior management does not communicate it enough to their employees.

• Almost every company has a whistleblower hotline in place to let all employees raise ethics and compliance issues and many of them also indicate that it allows an anonymous, confidential reporting and follow-up on raised issues. Only 30 percent of the hotlines were managed by an outside third party.

• Most of the companies believe that the compliance costs have exceeded the benefits in 2004, but a positive trend – after the first compliance – towards the benefits can be identified.


All in all, the thesis provides a representative overview on the SOA compliance situation of European companies.

Table of Contents
Click here
The bibliography is available at


© Peter Krimmer 2006