The client, a public company, approached Frank, Rimerman Consulting to assist with its SOX compliance efforts. The company had been paying high fees to its outsourced SOX consultants, and felt greatly burdened by the volume of paperwork and strain on its resources. We performed a complimentary evaluation of the company’s current control structure, and identified several areas for improvement. The company subsequently engaged Frank, Rimerman Consulting to replace the previous consultants.
We updated the company’s risk assessment to ensure that proper attention was paid to the critical areas, and reduced (and sometimes even eliminated) processes that were not needed in low-risk areas. Our initial efforts included streamlining the control structure to remove redundancies, eliminating non-key controls, and redesigning controls where possible for better risk coverage. We decreased the number of key controls by 40% (from 170 controls to 102). We validated the new control design with the Big 4 external audit firm and created a testing methodology to provide for maximum reliance by the auditors on the company’s SOX control work.
We uploaded the newly designed control structure (previously maintained by the client in Word and Excel) into our web-based, automated compliance tool and completed testing with scanned supporting documents loaded into the tool as well. All SOX related documentation and status was available to be viewed by external auditors and management through the web with secure log-in and no up-front training. The auditors were thrilled to be able to review and rely on the SOX work using the tool that enabled them to work offsite from their own offices, and after hours if desired. And the client was happy to have documentation centralized with no more rows of SOX binders to store and felt much less burden from auditor requests.
Our SOX Efficiency approach reduced the cost of compliance for this client by 30%, eased the burden on the company’s staff with less time spent supplying support for compliance efforts, and created efficiencies for the external audit.