Leveraging Technology to Reduce SOX Efforts

Leveraging Technology to Reduce SOX Efforts

The amount of time and resources businesses commit to SOX compliance is simply mind-boggling: A recent survey revealed that almost two-thirds of companies spend at least five hours testing each of their key controls.1 A typical business might have 200 key controls tested up to three times a year, including walkthroughs, interim and rollforward testing, which together require more than 3,000 hours to test.

Administrative tasks such as managing control changes, risk and controls spreadsheets, status reports, evidence request tracking, and quarterly certifications end up taking thousands more hours for an Internal Audit team.

Shouldn’t your experienced (and expensive) SOX and audit personnel be doing something better with their time?

If you answered yes to that question – we agree. SOX is a huge drain on the resources of the average business. We believe technology could hold the answer to your SOX problem.

Leveraging IT to Reduce SOX Testing Hours

Spreadsheets in general are extremely error-prone, and despite the fact that 90% of spreadsheets contain serious errors,2 most businesses are still using them to run their SOX compliance. In fact, nine out of ten businesses are still using spreadsheets for planning, budgeting, documentation, testing and reporting.3

Advanced techniques such as automated testing and reporting, automated change management, or data analytics can significantly reduce the burden on your staff, delivering an excellent return on your investment.

Despite the advantages, most businesses aren’t using these techniques, with only 10-15% of companies employing any sort of advanced techniques. This slow uptake means that businesses who invest resources appropriately in newer advanced techniques and approaches can access a significant competitive advantage by being ahead of the curve.

Strategic Innovation is a Key Competitive Advantage

A lack of investment in new technology is a symptom of a much larger problem: businesses aren’t innovating to improve their SOX compliance processes.

A successful business is constantly innovating: improving not just its products, but also its underlying processes. Yet SOX compliance is frequently an innovation-free zone, with businesses seemingly content to use old processes and old technology, wasting both time and money.

When was the last time you looked for innovative solutions to SOX? By taking a fresh look at your SOX processes, you could: -Decrease the time burden on your SOX specialists. -Move beyond compliance and use SOX to the advantage of your business. -Gain a strategic advantage over competitors.

Reallocate the Workload and Save Hundreds of Hours**

81% of businesses still utilize internal audit functions, and 40% spend 25% or more of their internal auditing budget on SOX.4 Outsourcing an organization’s audit efforts is not a new concept. If you’ve already considered and dismissed outsourcing, you might want to think again (but with a different perspective – keep reading) because SOX is clearly getting more expensive. Last year, the majority of audit professionals indicated the hours their business dedicated to SOX had gone up by more than 15%,5 and with more new standards to come, that growth is set to continue. Instead, consider “outsourcing” the activities and processes to technologies like SOXHUB, which will streamline your SOX compliance efforts and save your organization hundreds of hours; time that they can better spend on other priorities. Contact SOXHUB today to find out how you can streamline SOX compliance for your organization.


Daniel Kim, CPA, is co-founder of AuditBoard. Formerly global head of audit for two multibillion-dollar public companies, Daniel leverages his 15+ years of audit, risk, compliance, and SOX program consulting with hundreds of pre-IPO and public companies to deliver modern solutions for today’s corporate audit needs.