One of the primary aims of the Sarbanes‐Oxley Act of 2002, the New York Stock Exchange, and the NASDAQ corporate governance proposals is to improve the reporting systems for publicly traded companies. Many of the exchange proposals redefine the composition and duties of firms' boards of directors and their compensation and nominating committees. Sarbanes‐Oxley places new duties on audit committees and provides oversight and restraints on public accounting companies. This paper describes many of the exchange proposals and puts them in their historical context. I also present the likely effects of the new corporate governance proposals on future boards of directors and assess their impact on the financial reporting system.

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