What is SOX Compliance?
The SOX, or Sarbanes-Oxley, is an Act intended to prevent fraud in the corporate world. It was established in 2002 as a result of various corporate scandals that caused huge financial losses for investors when share prices plummeted. The tumultuous furor that followed triggered this precautionary measure to monitor companies dealing with accounting and finance.
The Role of IT in SOX Compliance
The IT environment is very sensitive and susceptible to various types of security breaches, which means that SOX compliance has become an inseparable part of the IT culture. Per SOX standards, there are requirements for the maintenance and retention of audit trails for all log files and documentation for a minimum of five years.
The intentions of the SOX standards are the retention of audit and accounting records that help in generating financial statements. Thus SOX plays a primary role in defining what records are required for storage purposes, and IT departments must furnish these records for compliance audits. The IT department must therefore be aware of SOX requirements, including the regulations regarding log management and backups.
Also, SOX requires that all logs are stored in an environmentally sound storage facility that eliminates the expenses of custodial storage. According toSOX standards, any storage facility that includes electronic devices must be tested for energy efficiency to ensure that energy is conserved.
SOX and MACA (MPEG)
The Additional Procedures for Auditing of Control Systems (APPSON) is a method of qualifying an organization that has systemically audited and maintains its control systems. This is a prerequisite for upgrading or modifying existing IT controls. The organization may be required to satisfy an organization auditors technical requirements under the auditor’s specific program. This requires that the controls and audit methodology must be understandable and able to describe the activities and activities that are performed by the IT organization.
SOX and COSO (COSO)
The Common Organization Service Testing (COSO) Committee International being Nike, is an independent body thatoration that is recognized by the International Wholesale and Retail Association (IADA). COSO also certifies that a company raises and maintains the competency of its service desk. This involves regular preventative maintenance of IT.
Auditors are part of the IT department and share the responsibility for providing assurance that the organization’s controls are working and that the IT organization is implementing controls, as per the requirements of the regulations. Once the organization satisfies these conditions, the auditor may recommend that the control system be upgraded, as well as the other tools and processes in the process.
Controls within the IT organization are meant to cover activities, processes, and procedures which have a reference to business procedures. The control system may also change on a sequential basis. For this reason, it is important that the control system be updated on a regular basis. Also, it is important to understand the relationship between the controls and the rest of the procedures and programs within the organization.
Additional data may be required for the organization to function properly. These inputs may be made through the use of software, hardware, or personnel. stalled controls can be introduced when optimal performance of the process cannot be ensured because of theazard environment in which the company operates.
In this regard, it is necessary to check the processes involved in installing the software, and checking whether all the necessary exclusions and restrictions have been properly installed.
Auditors may find that companies are still using old techniques for controlling and overseeing their IT processes. Software applications and other business processes have become a vital part of a company’s operation. Hence, it is important to check that these controls are working effectively.
To ensure that control systems are capable of implementing quality processes, auditors need to check the organization’s policies and procedures against the rules and regulations and the quality of the data that is captured in the form of controls and levers.
COBITControl Objectives for Information Technology (COBIT) is an auditing procedure designed to check the quality of implementation of IT controls. This process is meant to verify that the control objectives are met and that all required measures have been applied.
SOXConsulting Standards recommend that there should be a process of evaluation and certification of controls and other IT measures. The certification enables control auditors to provide assurance that the controls are appropriate, effective, and implemented in the control environment.
HOSAIf needed, individuals who function in the field of information technology (IT) should be trained in human resources management. This is necessary since there are many responsibilities and risks that can arise when working in this field.
The above are some of the measures that can be taken to improve the efficiency of a control process. Information technology controls can be attractive to certain types of businesses, but others may find it to be a threatening force.