Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis


Accounting (ACCT)

First Advisor

Scott Delanty


The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) was arguably the most influential piece of legislation passed to affect the accounting profession. Over the past nearly two decades since SOX was enacted, the auditor and auditing profession has evolved. The public’s perceptions of auditors and the profession have improved as a result of major legislation such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. This paper explores the evolution of the auditor and audit profession over the course of three different time periods to understand the function of the auditor. This paper is broken down into four major components. First, this paper explores what led to the need for reform in the auditing world. It discusses the large scandals and audit failures in the profession that prompted the passage of SOX. Next, this paper examines what exactly the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is. It examines the legislation and highlights the major reforms and restrictions it enacted on the auditing profession. Then, it discusses how SOX is doing at meeting its goals and objectives. This paper includes a discussion on how the audit profession looks years after the passage of such an influential regulation. Finally, the paper addresses the modern-day auditor and audit profession. This paper also discusses how the public views the role of the auditor and how SOX contributes to public perceptions. The goal of this paper is to examine the evolution of the auditing profession from a period of disappointment and unethical behavior to its current state of performance.

Included in

Accounting Commons