Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Dr. Matthew Magilke

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The realm of investing is driven by accountability; thus the name “accounting” for those responsible for ensuring its credibility. When looking at accountability, it is impossible to skip past auditors and their opinion on companies’ financial reports. In this analysis, I examine how the passing of Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 (SOX 404) affected audit opinions in Fortune 500 companies. In addition, I see how this act affected the various companies reviewed in this study. By using nine publicly available financial metrics, I examined commonly used materiality thresholds and used a regression to study their respective audit opinion. In addition, I examined the respective industry of each company and observed the number of unqualified opinions yielded after the passing of SOX 404. In this study, I found that after SOX 404 was enforced, there was a significant increase in unqualified opinions and that it affected each industry indiscriminately.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.