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It’s been 12 years since passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and, depending on the organization, approximately a decade that companies have been required to comply with the internal control over financial reporting standards as set forth in SOX Section 404.
In many respects, companies have made notable strides in automating and standardizing their controls and processes to make the SOX compliance effort as effective and efficient as possible. Yet, different hurdles continue to emerge. As revealed in the results of our 2014 Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Survey, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s (PCAOB) Staff Audit Practice Alert 11, “Considerations for Audits of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting” (which reports on the board’s inspections of 2012, 2011 and 2010 audits of internal control over financial reporting as performed by external audit firms), together with the introduction of COSO’s new 2013 Internal Control – Integrated Framework, are introducing new dynamics that organizations are continuing to address.
Our key findings this year include:
• Companies are getting started, albeit slowly, with implementing the new COSO framework.
• There is measurable fallout from the PCAOB’s inspection reports.
• Compliance costs are going up but are still manageable for many.
• Organizations continue to automate more processes and controls.