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!
The Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002 (Pub.L. 107-204, 116 Stat. 745, enacted July 30, 2002), also known as the 'Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act' (in the Senate) and 'Corporate and Auditing Accountability and Responsibility Act' (in the House) and commonly called Sarbanes–Oxley, Sarbox or SOX, is a United States federal law enacted on July 30, 2002. It is named after sponsors U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) and U.S. Representative Michael G. Oxley (R-OH).
One Week Implementation Effort Produced a One-Year ROI
Interesting article on User Developed Applications (UDAs). This could also apply to spreadsheets used for internal controls work, especially if they are distributed across departments and not centralized. Applications are typically developed for expense calculation and tracking (e.g. stock comp expense) as well as financial analysis. We try to take an approach that these types of tools should have permission control and be stored in documented locations where appropriate review and updating can be performed. It makes audit-related work much easier in the end!
The article below was sent from a dear friend of mine and fellow SOX enthusiast, Clark Keeler, Director, BPM. I find the article to have a significant amount of irony considering it claims that "American business people of a conservative nature have been dreaming about driving a stake through the heart of the Sarbanes-Oxley act ever since the legislation was passed..." It would seem to me that if a person was truly fiscally conservative, they would consider Sarbanes-Oxley to be the prudent choice rather than the radical one. Internal controls require there to be a check point in a business procedure that requires someone other than the preparer of the documentation to verify the accuracy of what was prepared. This verification prevents someone from acting alone when making decisions about shareholder assets (physical assets, capital, intangible assets, etc). I am of the opinion that this double check adds a necessary layer of review considering the potential for fraud, errors, omissions, etc. Considering all that we at Vibato, LLC have found when testing internal controls, this is no longer just opinion but rather, fact. Read more on the article here:
Tags: Sarbanes-Oxley Articles & Information, Compliance tools, Announcements, 404, 404 audit, audit costs, Non-accelerated filer 404(b) information, SOX Compliance Made Simple, Wall Street Reform, Sarbanes-Oxley Training, Sarbanes-Oxley, external auditing, Sarbanes-Oxley for Non-Profits