1,000 join telephone seminar on Sarbanes-Oxley Act, TEI builds toward 57th Annual Conference.

PositionContinuing Education

More than 1,000 TEI members and their staff listened to a late September telephone seminar on the Sarbanes-Oxley, or Corporate Accountability, Act of 2002. The speakers at the September 27th program were Michael Rogan and Joseph Barloon of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Allen Weltmann of PricewaterhouseCoopers, and two members of TEI's committee leadership: Lynn Jordan, chair of the Corporate Tax Management Committee, and Nanci Palmintere, vice chair of the IRS Administrative Affairs Committee. The 90-minute program provided valuable background on Sarbanes-Oxley, focusing especially on its auditor independence rules, and its effect on tax departments.

TEI has sponsored more than a dozen telephone seminars on various topics over the past four years, but participation in the seminar on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act set a new record, far eclipsing the old registration mark of on a perennially favorite topic: the research tax credit.

Commenting on the record number, TEI President Drew Glennie said that the participation reflects two core TEI values: professionalism and the delivery of low-cost value-added education. On professionalism, Mr. Glennie observed "TEI members adhere to strict Standards of Conduct in order to advance the Institute's mission, principle, and purposes. Sarbanes-Oxley changes longstanding rules affecting the delivery of tax services in order to ensure auditor independence. Members must understand the rules and advise their managements accordingly."

In addition, while telephone seminars will and should never supplant the networking value of in-person conferences, distance learning is a vital tool for companies looking to stretch their travel and training dollars. Mr. Glennie noted that, "During the coming year, one of the Institute's goals is to explore other distance learning formats, including webcasts. The success of the Sarbanes-Oxley telephone seminar underscores that TEI has to go where the market is for delivery of continuing education." (Note: The economical nature of TEI's telephone seminars is enhanced because members pay one registration fee per telephone line and colleagues can listen in by speakerphone. Hence, TEI received more than 300 registrations for the Sarbanes-Oxley program and, based on information in the evaluations, an average of more than three people listened per line.)

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