Well, most of you must have heard of the Sarbanes-Oxley act. If you didn't, you should because it's going to be implemented in Europe as well (kind of). I found this article EuroSOX - The European Version of SOX over at the AIIM Knowledge Center Blog
In April 2006 the final adoption of the 8th Directive was passed and now implementation into local law can go ahead.
It consists of in total 3 separate directives which are :
- 4th Directive 78/660/EEC ,
- 7th directive 83/349/EEC and
- 8th directive 84/253/EEC
which together are to safeguard shareholder’s investments, establish Corporate Governance, increase disclosure requirements and also establish separate audit committees.
The directives closely follow the US regulations, as these affects only publicly traded companies. It will still take up to 2 years before every countrys' regulations has been updated to reflect these directives in local law. By then every company has to be fully compliant, and if you are doing business in Europe or are traded at any of the many different European stock exchanges, then this is something that you need to look at and be aware of.