SOX Compliance Consultants: What Do They Do & How Do They Help?

the acronym sox for Sarbanes-Oxley Act concept represented by wooden letter tiles on a wooden table with glasses and a book

Whether your business has already gone public, is just starting to consider an IPO or lies somewhere in between, SOX compliance can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate.

Having to shift your focus to a risk-based approach, understand the gaps in your business processes and control environments, and implement better technology to safeguard your organization are but a few of the many challenges that can arise – along with over-taxing your current resources.

But when you turn to a SOX compliance consultant or team for guidance, their knowledge and experience allows you to address these challenges effectively and efficiently.

Everything you need to know about SOX Compliance:

  1. What is SOX Compliance?
  2. What does a SOX Compliance consultant do?
  3. How can a SOX Compliance consultant help your business?
  4. When should you hire a SOX Compliance consultant?

What is SOX Compliance?

SOX compliance involves conducting ongoing testing to ensure your internal controls surrounding financial reporting and IT security are operating effectively. This Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) obligation requires publicly traded companies to ensure standards in financial reporting, record keeping for audits, proving compliance and safeguarding data.

The financial side of SOX compliance supports the accuracy of financial data by implementing, refining and maintaining internal controls in areas that affect financial statements and reporting.

The IT side of SOX compliance safeguards your business by securing the critical systems and applications used to implement and execute internal controls and operations.

SOX Compliance activities:

  • Ongoing SOX Compliance: Developing roadmaps, conducting risk assessments and SOX walkthroughs, testing design and operational effectiveness, remediating control deficiencies and improving the control environment.
  • Public Company Readiness: Establishing the control environment and ensuring it adheres to strict regulatory (including SEC) compliance in preparation for an IPO.
  • IT Compliance: Streamlining compliance approaches by utilizing technology to strengthen internal controls and cut down on long-term compliance costs.

What does a SOX Compliance consultant do?

A SOX compliance consultant or team of consultants will work closely with your people to manage ongoing compliance requirements and integrate measures that ensure successful completion of testing requirements.

Whether your situation requires a roadmap for conducting risk assessments or the remediation of your control environment, a SOX compliance consultant or team will be there every step of the way to help identify issues and recommend solutions.

Skills of SOX Compliance consultants & SOX Compliance teams:

  • Planning: Performing annual risk assessments, updating business process documentation, and identifying risks and controls for new processes.
  • Walkthroughs & Documentation: Assisting with auditor walkthroughs, providing support for documentation updates, evaluating segregation of duties (SOD) and identifying compensating controls.
  • Test of Design & Test of Operating Effectiveness: Performing control design and effectiveness testing for management’s internal controls assessment and for external auditor control reliance.
  • Remediation: Identifying outstanding issues, assisting with remediation plans and implementing remediation measures.
  • Evaluation & Beyond: Re-evaluating risk assessments and comparing them to previous phases. Reviewing presentations of results and findings with management and audit committees.

How can a SOX Compliance consultant or team help your business?

  • Ensures compliance with rigorous regulatory demands
  • Simplifies the complexity of the SOX auditing process
  • Communicates between teams, clients, external auditors and audit committees, saving time and fostering more collaboration
  • Adapts roadmaps and implementation plans to unique business requirements
  • Implements risk-based, more efficient and effective internal controls

When should you hire a SOX Compliance consultant or SOX Compliance team?

Hiring a SOX compliance consultant or SOX compliance team is best to do well ahead of time — so before you begin the SOX audit process or the moment you start to consider an IPO, it can be beneficial to find a trusted partner that helps you set up the right systems, processes and controls from the get-go and ensures a smoother process for everyone involved.

Signs it’s time to hire a SOX Compliance consultant or team:

  • You don’t have anybody on your current team who has the necessary SOX compliance expertise or simply don’t have the internal resources needed to drive SOX success
  • You have received a notice of non-compliance or have recently gone through an audit that identified areas of your business that need to be compliant with SOX
  • Your organization is large with multiple units, bringing more complexity into the SOX compliance process
  • You haven’t kept up with new SOX-related laws, regulations, standards and best practices that are applicable to your business

Need SOX Compliance Support?

Whether you need a SOX compliance consultant or a whole team, you can rest easy knowing Bridgepoint Consulting has been entrenched in SOX since its inception. We have a deep understanding of the complexity and expectations of planning and delivering SOX readiness and compliance services, and have proven experience meeting the rigorous demands of the regulatory environment. Collaboration between client teams, audit committees and external auditors is integral to our strategy so we can adapt to your specific requirements and level of support.

Contact us today or learn more about our SOX Compliance support services at the link below.