Read this article in full here: http://www.corporatefinancialweeklydigest.com/2010/11/articles/seccorporate-1/sox-404-a-sixthyear-evaluation/
One of the best time savers for dealing with the mass-quantities of documentation produced in accounting departments is to store your hardcopy support in binders by month. Whenever we suggest this to new customers who have typically stored their documents in file cabinets spread amongst the various accounting staff we ALWAYS get the response that this sounds like a waste of time and a lot of work. On the contrary - hunting down documents is a waste of time a more work. Vibato recommends storing your month/quarter-end documents in binders that are tabbed out by topic (JE's, recons, bank statements, etc). A colored piece of paper can be used in lieu of tabs if you don’t have any available. What you will actually find when you start to use a binder is that you will have a heightened sense of how far along you are at any given moment and when you or your auditors need to reference old material, you'll know right were to go.
Great article from the Wall Street Journal. Private Equity funds may need to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley at some point in the near future. Here is a snippet of the article:
I had a great question asked of me today about staying current with SOX/SAS news. With such a broad topic, it is often difficult to put a dent into all the available information.
Tags: Accounting Tip of the Day, compliance, risk management
Use a month-end or quarter-end (at least) close checklist. It is shocking how many people believe they'll remember everything they do each month but the truth is, we're human, we become sick, we get tired, and inevitably, we forget. If someone reading this blog post isn't using a close checklist, take 3 minutes and start writing down everything you can remember that you do each month. You will probably shock yourself at how long the list will get very quickly. To this end, save yourself heartache, headache and embarrassment and create a list and check it each month as you get through your close. Writing things down in this manner will also allow you to delegate better which could in the end help your stress level!
Review a list of GL users at least quarterly to ensure you approve of everyone with access. It is easy to forget consultants or auditors who are granted "temporary" access because they often do not have to go through the formal HR channels to get access. It is also easy to forget to remove terminated employees. Reviewing users quarterly will help protect the security of your data!
Federal Court Limits Sarbanes-Oxley Protection to PCAOB-Auditor Documents Prepared Specifically for the Board
Great article from James Hamilton that we thought our readers would enjoy. Here is a snippet:
Auditors have an unnatural ability to select THE ONE sample you know will get you in trouble...that one sample that caused you heartburn and you were glad to see posted and filed....and that one sample that is almost a year old and you cannot remember the clear details about. Unfortunately, you cannot simply ask your auditors to select a new sample to make your life easier. Once your auditors start asking questions and realize that you can't fully remember why that sample isn't as easy to explain as they would hope, they may conclude that the rest of your samples should be scrutinized even further. So the tip is to write everything down on the journal entry itself, regardless of how ugly it looks! Those notes will keep you sane at the end of your audit period because you'll never remember why you didn't write it all down in the first place!
Tags: Accounting Tip of the Day, audit costs, risk management
Great Article: What Does It Take to Build a Better Board? -- Effectively Dealing With Underperforming Directors
Here is a snippet of a great article we found very interesting and thought our readers would enjoy:
Tags: Sarbanes-Oxley Articles & Information, compliance, Sarbanes-Oxley
We at Vibato have posted about this topic before but some of our customers just don't seem to want to believe it. I thought I'd post again since there is now recent case law to support our claim. The IRS may hold people responsible for overdue taxes that you wouldn't typically suspect - what this means is if you are an accountant, administrative assistant, CEO, etc at a company and you sign the tax return, you could be held liable for the tax due from your company. Yes - you could be liable. This happened to a customer of ours; when the company ran out of money and didn't pay the tax bill, the IRS came to the office and told the Jr. accountant that because she signed the tax return, she was personally liable for the taxes due.
Tags: Sarbanes-Oxley Articles & Information, Tax Information
During a recent conversation with a Managing Partner at a local CPA firm I learned that the PCAOB is starting to use forensic statistics to determine which external audit firms to review; it isn't random. The PCAOB has apparently come to the (logical) conclusion that if an audit fee is usually low relative to their comparative companies audit fees, then the quality of the audit is also probably low. What this means is that if a company decides to price shop for their audit, chances are they will not only get what they pay for but they may also be subjected to the scrutiny and potential requirement for an additional audit by the PCAOB. This could cause restatements, lawsuits, and just a laundry list of bad things.
Tags: audit costs, external auditing
This is a great press release we thought our readers would enjoy. Here is a snipet:
Tags: Sarbanes-Oxley Articles & Information, 404, 404 audit, Sarbanes-Oxley
We thought this would be a great article for our readers - brought to you by PwC:
Tags: external auditing