How Jushi Boosted Operational Efficiency During Their First Year of SOX

How Jushi Boosted Operational Efficiency During Their First Year of SOX

In our Spotlight on Success series, Jason Meneses, Vice President, Internal Audit at Jushi Holdings Inc., and John Kolich, IT Audit Director at Jushi, share how AuditBoard enabled their team to achieve first-year SOX compliance at a rapidly scaling company without having to add resources. Based in Florida, Jushi is a national, multi-state cannabis company that develops and operates high-end retail locations, premium brands, and state-of-the-art cultivation, processing, and manufacturing facilities. Hear how this internal audit team at a forward-thinking cannabis organization built a culture of controls compliance, effectively collaborated with a range of stakeholders, and gained considerable operational efficiencies by implementing AuditBoard during its journey to SOX compliance, including:

  • Leveraging AuditBoard’s SOXHUB and OpsAudit solutions together to reduce up to 80% of effort on admin-focused tasks like dashboard creation, certification processes, and communication with stakeholders. 
  • Achieving goals of successfully becoming SOX compliant while executing on audits for a scaling business without adding personnel. 
  • Quickly onboarding co-source providers without having to manually train them on testing procedures.
Jushi’s Jason Meneses and John Kolich share how a growing cannabis company gained significant efficiencies to achieve and maintain compliance while supporting scalability.

Tell us a little about Jushi, and how AuditBoard helped you address some of the initial challenges you faced when building out Jushi’s internal audit department. 

“Jushi Holdings is a multi-state operator of cannabis licenses. We are currently in seven different markets, and we produce the plant all the way through retail sales. When I came to Jushi there was no internal audit function and there was no SOX compliance. The goal was to establish an oversight department that would help mature the organization. I knew that my team would have to be very focused on working with management hand in hand, and we needed to reduce the time we spent on admin-focused audit steps. That’s where AuditBoard came in. AuditBoard gave us an opportunity to streamline those processes, and to some extent reduce the effort that we put into those admin tasks in the double digits. Frankly, AuditBoard has enabled us to achieve all of our goals without having to bring in more resources.” – Jason Meneses, Vice President, Internal Audit at Jushi

How has AuditBoard’s connected platform enabled you to gain efficiencies while successfully completing first-year SOX?

During the implementation is really where our eyes were opened up to the full capabilities of AuditBoard — but even post-deployment our team continues to observe additional things that AuditBoard can do to serve the organization like the ability to create additional custom test phases. For instance, we’re testing our key reports and spreadsheets within AuditBoard as opposed to externally in an Excel worksheet. Also the ability to send out quarterly narrative update requests, and track the whole process from end to end within AuditBoard was something that continues to deliver incremental benefits.” – John Kolich, IT Audit Director at Jushi

In terms of what we’ve been able to accomplish with AuditBoard, we were able to get through year one of SOX. We’re able to execute on audits without increasing our resourcing from a personnel standpoint, and that I attribute solely to the technology that we have in place. I’d say there are tasks where we probably reduced 80% of the effort versus what we used to do — now AuditBoard does it all. Things such as dashboard creation from Audit Committee presentations, through the certification process and emails that we use to send out, these are all automated now via the tool.” – Jason Meneses, Vice President, Internal Audit at Jushi

At a fast-growing company, how are you leveraging AuditBoard’s connected platform to effectively collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to maintain compliance and support scalability?

“We have a co-source provider that performs some of our testing. Using AuditBoard, we’re able to onboard that vendor a lot more quickly than if we had to do everything manually to coach and guide them about how to complete the testing.” – John Kolich, IT Audit Director at Jushi

Scalability and compliance mean everything. We want to continue to grow, and in order to be able to do that we need to be able to identify efficiencies from an operating standpoint and maintain compliance with all of our regulators, whether that’s state regulators or federal — and SOX with the SEC. Being able to get through our audits and help management understand their processes and their controls — and how they can enhance those to achieve their goals — is key.” – Jason Meneses, Vice President, Internal Audit at Jushi

“At the end of the day, AuditBoard really helped us deliver that value-add by taking some of those mundane tasks away so we could focus on the things that really matter to the organization.” – John Kolich, IT Audit Director at Jushi