March 2008 Vol. 106 No. 5 THE REVIEW

Confidence in the Nonprofit Sector Through Sarbanes-Oxley-Style Reforms

Joseph Mead

Over the past several years, the nonprofit sector suffered a series of highly visible scandals that shook the public’s confidence in charitable organizations. Concerned politicians and nonprofit leaders responded with a variety of reforms inspired by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The Note focuses on three such reforms: requiring nonprofit officers certify financial statements, mandating audits of nonprofits’ financial statements, and imposing independent audit committees on nonprofit boards of directors. This Note argues that, contrary to the conclusions of many commentators, these reforms will provide a net benefit to the nonprofit sector by increasing donor confidence while imposing minimal costs.

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