Spreadsheets and other end user computing (EUC) applications are often overlooked and mismanaged. Because of this, they present a significant risk to Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance efforts.
SOX Compliance Management
Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) is a regulation that came from the aftermath of financial accounting scandals in the early 2000s. Ever since it passed in 2002, publicly traded companies across all industries must follow its guidelines. In order to maintain compliance, companies typically create an internal controls framework to increase reporting accuracy and data integrity. However, many processes that involve spreadsheets are often overlooked, which creates a concern for SOX compliance efforts.
To fix this problem, companies have a common need at hand. They must create an effective policy to manage and control their spreadsheets and other EUCs. Yet, current information suggests that rigid policies are ineffective at trying to control this type of inherent risk. As a better alternative, companies should design, configure, and deploy a holistic solution. This method should address the demands of corporate governance, ease of use, and process automation. Companies that implemented Apparity’s software platform found that such an approach works best to reduce residual risk, while adding value and empowering end users.
Prevent Material Weaknesses
A material weakness is defined as any underlying flaw in a company’s internal controls for financial reporting (ICFR). As a result, they create costly mistakes and can usually be avoided with the right tools. If detected, they must be disclosed and corrected in a timely fashion. Apparity provides organizations with the tools they need to fix material weaknesses and prevent them from happening again. Our solution provides companies with the ability to:
- Identify spreadsheets (and other EUCs) that present a SOX-related risk
- Maintain an accurate inventory of all discovered, registered, and managed files
- Monitor and report on all spreadsheet and EUC activity
- Version Control
- Spreadsheet copy tracking (fingerprinting)
- Change Control
- Data Integrity Control
- Availability Control