With the new guidance from the PCAOB around SOX testing standards and audit evidence, there is an increased level of scrutiny; as a result of this, compliance workloads continue to rise.

As outlined in the latest news from CFO.com “SOX Compliance is Getting More Costly,” overall, there has been an increase in the number of hours Internal Audit and Accounting departments are spending to comply with SOX every year. Here are the top 3 ways to reverse the trend and reduce your SOX Compliance costs:

Eliminate Admin Time

On average, companies spend 6,000 – 10,000 hours on SOX Compliance of which 30% is spent on non-value added activities: dealing with version control issues, manually compiling status reports, creating spreadsheet templates, and tracking document requests lists from owners. That amounts to at least 1,800 hours spent on manual administrative activities. If you’re on the higher scale, you’re allocating over 3,000 hours on non-value add SOX activities. In dollars, this can amount to $300,000 spent on admin time even in a fully in-sourced environment. Enforcing a stringent testing timeline and adopting best practices could be the best way to reduce this non-value add time.

Rationalize Your Controls

With guidance continuing to change from the PCAOB, SOX requirements and landscape continue to change. It might be time to reassess your control environment to ensure you have processes and controls that are truly mitigating the right risks and your mix of controls is optimal. Seek guidance from leading experts that are at the forefront of the continuing regulation changes to ensure you are well prepared. Working with the right partners can save you time, money and energy and help you navigate efficiently through the murky waters.

Leverage Technology

Last but most important to reducing cost is to streamline your SOX program with great technology. The fastest way to eliminate admin time, transfer knowledge, reduce errors and make your resources more productive is to automate your SOX Controls program using a best-of-breed platform built specifically for SOX Compliance. Thousands of companies have tried large, clunky, over-engineered GRC packages only to realize it’s extremely difficult to use. However, there are new cloud based platforms that are built to make SOX management simple, effective and easy to use. If you are looking for a solution, you can learn more about the best SOX compliance software solution companies are using today.

Afterthoughts

Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance is one of the few areas enterprises have yet to streamline with a software solution that is effective. Choosing the right solution that is built on newer technology can really change how SOX is managed and help reduce costs dramatically, all while increasing the quality and accuracy of your environment.


Daniel Kim
About the author: Daniel Kim, CPA is the VP of Product at AuditBoard. He was formerly CAE at several multi-billion dollar technology and retail companies and has over 10 years of audit and SOX experience. Daniel is part of the AuditBoard Product Development team and works closely with Audit and Accounting teams to provide the best product solutions.