Many Companies Still Not Ready For SOX Audits

In last week’s issue of Compliance Week magazine, a startling survey result was disclosed.  It seems that almost two-thirds of the smaller public companies that will be facing an audit of their internal control over financial reporting this year are not fully prepared (see chart below).  While some may be looking for the U.S. Congress to exempt them from compliance (a measure that is currently being discussed on Capitol Hill), others may simply be ill-equipped or misdirected.  Here is what was reported in the Compliance Week article.

Of the 210 accountants participating in the recent poll, one-third said their company is less than 25 percent complete in implementing Section 404. Inefficiencies were attributed to problems such as poor training and education in the area of processes and controls, lack of focus on project management and utilizing resources, and a “compliance at all cost” mentality that is focused on effectiveness but not efficiency.

At a recent conference of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Elisse Walter, a commissioner for the Securities and Exchange Commission, said the SEC does not support an exemption for smaller companies. “The SEC supports applying 404(b) to smaller companies, particularly as it applies to the financial crisis we’ve seen,” she said. “But now it’s in the hands of Congress.”

Time will tell the outcome of the congressional debate.  However, the companies that are behind schedule should not necessarily hope for a last-minute reprieve.  The best approach is to address the compliance requirements in a business-focused, practical manner that is effective, efficient and ultimately beneficial to the company’s long-term well-being.  If your company is looking for cost-effective solutions, visit www.WheelhouseAdvisors.com to learn how we can help.

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About Wheelhouse Advisors
Wheelhouse Advisors LLC is the publisher of The ERM Current™, an online publication and blog dedicated to providing the latest updates on current trends in Enterprise Risk Management & Control. Wheelhouse Advisors provides cost-effective Enterprise Risk Management & Control solutions to both large and mid-size corporations. To learn more about Wheelhouse Advisors, please visit our web site at www.WheelhouseAdvisors.com.

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