March 6, 2005 by Canadian Underwriter
Toronto-based Fairfax is voluntarily meeting certain filing requirements under the U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley Act two years ahead of schedule.
Part of the SOX requirements include filing a management report on internal financial reporting controls, as well as the report of an independent auditor, with annual results.
Fairfax says the management report included in its 2004 annual report has concluded the company’s internal control over financial reporting was effective. The independent auditor’s report confirms this, Fairfax notes.
The U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) last week announced it was extending the compliance timeline for foreign private issuers and certain smaller companies by one year to apply to results for fiscal years ending after July 15, 2006.
As a non-U.S. company, Fairfax is not yet required to file the management and auditor’s reports under SOX, but says it "voluntarily elected to do so, two years ahead of its compliance deadline, in order to assess for itself the integrity and quality of its internal control over financial reporting and to provide its shareholders and debtholders with the greatest assurance of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting".