Hostility towards the tough Sarbanes Oxley regulations is wearing off, according to accountants Mazars.

The firm has conducted research into companies' attitudes, including speaking to a number of insurers.

Mazars partner Craig Scarr said: "Allianz was one company that said it can now see benefits in the internal controls and standardised systems it has introduced."

He added that earlier polls had shown many companies considering delisting after Sarbanes Oxley was introduced. But attitudes are mellowing, which he claimed was due to a "more pragmatic view" now being taken by company auditors.

The survey questioned 88 companies in 13 countries.

Key findings were:

  • 80% of companies said Sarbanes Oxley had strengthened their internal control systems.
  • 61% of European, South-American and Asian firms said they were totally prepared for the implementation of Sarbanes
  • Oxley.

  • 83% of firms said Sarbanes Oxley formed an appropriate response to their main risks.