While the Sarbanes-Oxley statute enacted in 2002 was aimed at the financial side of a business, it has had a profound impact on IT as well.\u00a0 IT managers have had to divert countless resources to implementing new procedures and installing new software to help audit and document the financial aspects of a company.\u00a0 An article on www.creditcollectionsworld.com says it best:"For most bound by Sarbanes-Oxley, compliance means a brute force implementation of software solutions needed to create the audit trail and data verification processes required under the legislation. But where brute force implementation occurred, the information technology systems making up the backbone of an institution's business haven't necessarily been revamped. To prevent their compliance strategies from being shortsighted, many lenders and creditors are using Sarbanes-Oxley as the impetus for taking a harder look at how their IT infrastructure impacts their business strategy. Subsequently, many lenders and creditors are expected to leverage Sarbanes-Oxley to refine their core IT infrastructures in 2005, hoping to create greater operating efficiencies."The costs to comply with "SOX" are enormous.\u00a0 The Economist cites a study by Ivy Xiying Zhang of the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Rochester.\u00a0 Zhang's estimate of the net private cost of compliance amounts to $1.4 trillion.\u00a0 A more conservative estimate placed the cost of compliance in 2005 at $5.8 billion.\u00a0 No matter what figures you use, the costs are exorbitant, and the only ones who benefit are the compliance software vendors and consultants.Richard Rhan wrote in The Washington Times that SOX is "a poster child for a government act whose cures are worse than the disease." I doubt you'd find many corporate executives who disagree with that assessment.\u00a0 The majority of the upright and honest companies are suffering because of the actions of a few high profile deviants at companies like Enron, Worldcom, Adelphia and HealthSouth.And speaking of the deviants at Enron, the federal trial of former chairman and CEO Ken Lay and former CEO Jeff Skilling is taking place right now in a Houston courtroom.\u00a0 Since I live in Houston and was personally affected by Enron's collapse, I am following the trial on a daily basis.\u00a0 I won't pass judgment on guilt or innocence at this point, but the testimony so far has been quite interesting.\u00a0 Catch up on it yourself at www.chron.com\/enron. In the wake of all the corporate scandals in 2001 and 2002, I can understand how the federal government had a knee-jerk reaction and quickly passed the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation.\u00a0 Perhaps now it's time to revisit that decision and lighten up on some of the screws that have been put to large American corporations.