Company-wide Controls

SOX Whistleblowers and Media

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act protects whistleblowers who report violations to company supervisors, federal regulatory or law enforcement agencies, and members of Congress – but not to the media.  In Tides v. The Boeing Company, the U.S. Court of Appeals made the May 2011 ruling in a case where two financial auditors told a newspaper reporter about... Read more »
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SOX Compliance: Five Key Strategies Drive Costs Down at Majority of Firms

The news on SOX compliance is becoming better, and especially so for the largest companies.  Once beyond the initial year or two of high costs in terms of time, money and other resources, SOX compliance costs tend to stabilize and even decline. And, in the coming fiscal year, corporate controllers can take heart in the... Read more »
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New SEC Rules Give SOX Relief to Credit Pros at “Smaller” Firms

Many credit and receivables managers at public companies have been put through the wringer of a “404 audit”—compliance of AR and credit policies and procedures with the tough Section 404 rules on internal control reporting of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). At least for credit pros at smaller companies, there will now be some relief because... Read more »
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Automation of F&A Functions Can Trigger SOX 404 Reporting Requirements

As if automating finance and accounting functions doesn’t already pose enough challenges, it may surprise controllers to learn that automation initiatives can trigger Section 404 Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) reporting requirements. How’s that, you say? SOX Section 404 requires quarterly reporting (and auditor attestation) of any change that has materially affected—or is likely to—a company’s internal... Read more »
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Controls Self-Assessment (CSA): A Key Component of an Internal Controls Program

In a Controls Self-Assessment (CSA) process, controls are embedded in daily business operations and employees within individual departments perform the evaluation of internal controls. From a senior management perspective, CSA should provide early detection of risk and support development of concrete action plans to safeguard organizational programs against material fraud. By Christine Doxey, CAPP, CCSA, CICA... Read more »
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Why is Segregation of Duties (SoD) Important?

By Chris Doxey, CAPP, CCSA, CICA Segregation of duties is a basic, key internal control and one of the most difficult to achieve. It is used to ensure that errors or irregularities are prevented or detected on a timely basis by employees in the normal course of business. Segregation of duties provides two benefits: 1)... Read more »
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Establish and Enforce a Sound Expense Reporting Policy

Next to payroll, T&E expenses are the biggest expenditures a company has to manage. Setting up rules and guidelines for expense reporting is critical for reining in costs. Controllers can play a powerful role in establishing clear policies and procedures for spending and expense reporting. Here are some tips on how to do just that... Read more »
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Don’t Settle for Flimsy Internal Controls or Your Organization Will Be Exposed to Liability

By Pam Miller, APMD While the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) was directed at public companies in the U.S., its effects are more far-reaching. Many private organizations are acting now to adopt SOX requirements in an effort to improve controls. The SOX requirements are stringent, to be sure, but they are highly recommended—and highly effective—for cleaning up... Read more »
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