After the massive corporate spending scandals in the early 2000s, it was clear that sweeping reforms were needed in accounting practices. Enter U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) and U.S. Representative Michael G. Oxley (R-OH), champions of what would come to be known as the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act of 2002. The top-down risk assessment performed to comply with Section 404 of this act is precisely that SOX Fellows learn to do.
The law, in short, requires public companies to have fully independent auditors evaluate their accounting practices. In this organization, members act as those auditors. Students are trained by an oversight team lead by College of Business alumnus Danny Sklenicka with Plante Moran, the Columbus firm that audits the Ohio University Foundation. Split into three teams — journal entries, cash transactions, and investments —SOX Fellows document existing controls, determine sufficiency of internal controls in place, and assess the effectiveness of those controls over the foundation’s accounts.