As you look to streamline your SOX controls environment, leveraging the right software solution is the best way to reduce cost, increase productivity, provide unmatched transparency and increase overall quality. Below are 10 simple features that every SOX solution must-have.
10 Simple Features that Every SOX Solution Must Have
1. Simple and Intuitive
First and foremost, your SOX Solution should be simple and intuitive or you will end up spending money on a clunky over-engineered solution that no one uses. In many cases a big, expensive GRC can be overkill.
2. Eliminate Spreadsheets
Eliminate the use of spreadsheets and replace them with well designed web forms. Companies have thousands of spreadsheets with data copied and pasted across all of the spreadsheets. Linking fields in spreadsheets is not a solution. It’s a short term band-aid. Find a solution that eliminates those spreadsheets altogether into simple web forms.
3. Central Repository
Are you constantly hunting through shared folders for reports, testsheets and workpapers? Your system should have a single page where your Controls documentation, testing, workpapers and even prior year files are all accessed. All within a single click.
4. Real-Time Collaboration
SOX Compliance requires cross-functional collaboration. Internal Auditors, Process Owners and External Auditors should all be able to access the tool while you have control over what each user can see through security and permissions.
5. Automated Workflow
Significant time is wasted tracking PBC requests, review notes and test status. Stop managing your tasks through emails and find an audit automation solution that automatically tracks this for you with triggered reminders and real time status reports. No more babysitting.
6. Real Time Status & Issue Tracking
Your SOX solution should provide you with a status dashboard of testing and outstanding issues on-demand in real time. Improve transparency and eliminate time required to build status reports manually. Get the reports you need in seconds, not days.
7. Role-Based Permissions
You should be able to determine who has access to what. Internal Audit teams, Process Owners, and External Auditors should all have a uniquely controlled experienced that aligns with their role in the SOX Compliance process.
8. Hands-Free Implementation
Implementations should be fast and simple. Your team is already swamped with walkthroughs and testing. Your SOX solution provider should be able to take your RCM and have it loaded in a few days with minimal effort from your team.
9. World Class Customer Support
Whether it’s for simple questions or for customizations, your solutions provider should have Customer Success Managers working around the clock to ensure you’re supported. Choose a vendor that has the in-house SOX expertise and provides a consultative approach to their customer support.
10. Built for SOX
The final but most important considerations is: find a SOX software solution that was built from the ground up for SOX. Too often software companies try to take an existing solution used by other departments and re-purpose it for SOX. Pick a tool that was built for Internal Auditors by Internal Auditors.
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.