SOX Compliance Structure Not Fully Implemented

June 27, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A new survey by a California professional services firm specializing in audits and risk management has indicated that more than half of the nation's largest companies have not yet institutionalized their Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance.

A news release from Resources Audit Solutions of Costa Mesa, California said the survey also found that the responding companies’ compliance management software is not yet enterprise wide.

Many companies have not been quantitatively measuring the return on investment (ROI) of their SOX compliance efforts, including compliance management software, despite having invested in an average of two or more external firms for SOX compliance support, Resources Audit Solutions said.

“Our survey results show that in the first year of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, many of the nation’s largest companies did not fully institutionalize their compliance processes nor integrate them into their day-to-day business operations,” said Steve Mezzio, Managing Director, Resources Audit Solutions, in the news release. “Company executives understand the potential benefit of evolving SOX compliance from a project’ focus to a fully integrated process, though facilitating that transition with an eye toward measuring the ROI of SOX 404 remains a significant challenge.”

The survey results indicted

  • Two-thirds (66%) of executives note that their SOX compliance is not institutionalized throughout their organizations. Slightly more than half of those surveyed (54%) use compliance management software, but three quarters of that group’s software is not enterprise wide.
  • 86% of the respondents claimed that SOX compliance costs were higher than expected, some noting that their auditing costs had increased by as much as 90%.
  • About three-quarters (71%) of respondents intend to use external advisors and outside support to meet their second year SOX compliance¬†needs.

Of these 60 companies responding to the survey, nearly two-thirds have revenues exceeding $1 billion, with 25% having revenues exceeding $10 billion. Responses were collected over a three- week period beginning in May 2005.

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