James Kasim has been a certified public accountant (CPA) since 1994. Earlier in his career, James Kasim worked for Ernst & Young (EY), a well-known global professional services firm. During his tenure at EY, he managed several Sarbanes-Oxley control projects.
When it came into effect in 2002, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) had major effects on corporate financial practices. The law was a reaction to major corporate financial scandals. Under SOX, companies have additional financial reporting duties and must file periodic reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). For example, corporations must report relationships and transactions that affect a company’s financial status. Corporate management also is accountable for internal control structures and financial reporting.
SOX also established standards of engagement for firms that audit public companies and attorneys who represent public firms to the SEC. Companies need SOX experts to ensure compliance with the complex legislation or avoid severe penalties.
An accomplished certified public accountant and senior financial executive, James Kasim has previously served as the chief financial officer of Pacific Office Properties Trust, Inc., and as a senior manager with Ernst & Young, LLP. In addition, James Kasim worked as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California and served on the California Board of Accountancy’s Report Quality Monitoring Committee.
The California Board of Accountancy (CBA) is a self-funded government entity that serves California-based consumers and accountants by qualifying candidates for the National Uniform CPA Exam, certifying and licensing CPAs, registering CPA corporations and partnerships, and investigating complaints against individual accountants and accountancy firms. Currently, the CBA regulates more than 97,000 licensed accounting professionals in the state of California.
A large portion of the CBA’s work is performed by various committees, including the Report Quality Monitoring Committee. The group is responsible for ensuring that California CPAs’ financial reports follow proper accounting principles and comply with established financial reporting standards. Additionally, the committee can order licensed CPAs to complete continuing education to improve their professional competence. If the licensee fails to comply, the Report Quality Monitoring Committee also has the authority to pursue disciplinary action.
As a senior manager at Ernst & Young LLP in Los Angeles and a chief financial officer at Pacific Office Properties Trust, Inc., in Santa Monica, James Kasim had oversight responsibilities for proper corporate accounting. His duties included ensuring compliance with the provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
The act, principally authored by Senator Paul Sarbanes and Representative Michael Oxley, set new requirements for governance and accounting practices of publicly traded companies, to be in place by 2006. It also established an agency, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, to deal with corporate accounting standards. Passage of the law reflected concern over several accounting scandals.
Covered by the act are all publicly held companies in the United States, their subsidiaries, and firms not based in the U.S. but engaged in business there. In certain cases, the law is applicable to initial public offerings.
Companies must report on the effectiveness of their internal auditing to the Securities and Exchange Commission. External parties must also examine the company's financial statements and auditing. Reports must contain data that is attributable to a company source; revisions to the data or software must also be explained.
Noncompliance or inaccurate reporting can result in legal penalties of up to $5 million and 20 years in prison.
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