UK-based foreign private issuers are starting to see business benefits from their first year's compliance with the requirements of Section 404 of the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act. But in many cases the process has been time and cost intensive, with considerable room for improvement, according to a survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

The survey, One year on – Evaluating experiences with Sarbanes Oxley, found that respondents were generally upbeat, reporting a considerable increase in levels of financial control awareness within their organisations and identifying wider benefits to the business, such as specific process and control improvements.

These positive aspects, have, however, to be balanced against the fact that more than 78% of respondents reported an excessive number of key controls and documentation, with 36% saying they had tested more than 2,000 key process controls. Companies were still largely driven by a bottom-up approach to addressing key risks.