Many organizations have seen a shift in their SOX environment in recent years. SOX has become commoditized and leadership is concerned about buckling down on the level of work and on the cost of SOX. While many companies have reviewed, rationalized and streamlined their controls down to a more manageable level, focusing on testing only the key controls amounting to less than 150 in most cases, we still see that many have not entirely streamlined their management of the full cycle of analysis and documentation. Have you?
- Who performs your Financial Statement Risk Assessment? Where is the documentation of that process and the conclusions regarding significant accounts and relevant assertions kept?
- Have you plainly identified and documented your Financial Statement Risks and are you able to demonstrate which Controls are critical to their mitigation?
- Of course, tests are being performed; but how are you tracking the evidence associated with those tests and does it seem that the process of defining and assigning audits is as efficient as it could be?
- Do you have historical record of your audit findings, issues and methods of remediation? Can you easily review and determine the most cost effective approaches to remediation?
- Can you pull up evidence of COSO coverage as simply as you can share your Risk-Control matrix?
- Apart from the staples of SOX documentation, where do you document things such as considerations and assumptions for key decisions, exceptions or overrides?
Probably the most simple question yielding the most telling answer regarding whether your SOX program is as effective and efficient as it can be is this: do you perform and maintain all of this documentation in one system or is it someone’s responsibility to mine information and evidence for each external audit? If each of these processes is happening in different mediums, stored in different repositories and managed with a wide range of workflows and procedures that are in place simply because “it’s always been that way”, then you have a significant opportunity to save time and money while more effectively managing your SOX program and, therefore, improving the bottom line of your company.
Of course, this message is for those organizations that have yet to bring automation and the power of a database to their SOX processes and documentation. Still, this message should not be lost on the many policyIQ clients who already experience how easily the collaboration of work, hand-offs, review and approval can be managed in policyIQ. We work with many companies who still have portions of their SOX cycle in various systems. Aside from the plain-to-see expense of paying for many different systems, there is cost associated with ongoing maintenance, training, and the time required to bring all of the information together and to relate the key components that paint the picture of an effective internal control environment.
Reach out to us and we’ll provide you with a free demonstration and configuration guidance on streamlining the various segments of your SOX program into one efficient and manageable cycle. We can schedule your configuration session within the week and have you up and running in the next 4-6 weeks! Talk to you soon!