Almost 13 years after the enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, this much is clear: it's not going anywhere. Arguments from detractors have largely quieted down, and firms have settled into a compliance routine, almost treating the act as an afterthought. Attention has gradually shifted toward newer headline issues like insider trading, leaving Sarbanes-Oxley compliance as a simple checklist item. But, in the same way that the development process accelerates when children hit their teen years, the "terrible teens" for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance might be right around the corner.

SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White said last February that more thorough policing of accounting fraud would be one of her key initiatives. She's reiterated that at every opportunity, and seems primed to continue that into this year.

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