An overview of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance software

Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance, software and requirements can be confusing. Get an overview of SOX compliance technology and more, in this mini guide.

Since congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) in 2002, organizations have been required to comply with SOX

regulations that govern the management of sensitive financial data. To help meet these compliance requirements, automate business processes and reduce costs, many organizations rely on SOX compliance software.

This resource provides an overview of the most important aspects of SOX compliance software. Get SOX-related definitions, learn how SOX regulations have changed over the years, get best practices for evaluating compliance software and more.

Must-know compliance definitions

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act:The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, passed in 2002, is administered by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Congress passed the law partially in response to several wide-scale scandals, including the Enron scandal. There are 11 titles to the act that describe financial reporting requirements that organizations must comply with.

Governance, risk and compliance (GRC): GRC involves the people, processes and technology that help organizations meet compliance regulations imposed by legislation. It's about "building a common process, approach and infrastructure for multiple GRC assessments ... to drive and streamline sustainability, consistency, efficiency and transparency," according to Michael Rasmussen.

 

What does Sarbanes-Oxley compliance software do?

Unlike years ago when Congress passed SOX, today's market is flooded with all kinds of SOX compliance software options. True, many organizations are turning to technology for compliance automation, but variety in the market can complicate the software evaluation process. Learn more about automating compliance with SOX software by listening to an informative expert podcast. In this podcast Michael Rasmussen, founder of Corporate Integrity LLC, discusses SOX requirements and various approaches organizations have taken to comply with those requirements. Rasmussen also offers best practices for evaluating SOX compliance technology and more. The podcast is 10 minutes long.

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Automating Sarbanes-Oxley compliance: Understanding SOX software
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Tools for automating compliance

Meeting compliance requirements is typically an organization-wide initiative that requires management of both data and processes. And successfully automating compliance usually involves a variety of tools and technology, according to industry experts and analysts. Compliance tools for configuration and change management, business process management (BPM), and documents and records management, among others, should be found in every IT toolbox, say experts. Learn about other kinds of software that support compliance efforts and get the complete list of the top 10 tools to automate compliance.

 

What is governance, risk and compliance?

In the wake of the Sarbanes-Oxley act came increased attention to governance, risk and compliance (GRC), according to experts. Many organizations that prioritized GRC looked to technology – as evidenced by an 8.5% increase in GRC spending from 2006 to 2007, according to a report from Boston-based AMR Research. But experts warn that the key to meeting SOX requirements and succeeding with GRC doesn't only lie in software – it involves having the right people and process in place, too. Find out how SOX fits into the overall GRC discipline and how GRC now demands a comprehensive approach.

To better understand how organizations can use GRC software to meet SOX requirements, listen to a brief podcast with Michael Rasmussen. Find out how to build a GRC infrastructure, learn about the functions of GRC software and get insight into the changing compliance technology vendor landscape.

 

Sarbanes-Oxley compliance: GRC technology vs. spreadsheets

There is more than one way to comply with SOX requirements: Some organizations implement software, others rely on spreadsheets. But even though spreadsheets may work for some companies -- to a degree -- they do not offer the same level of authentication, access control and audit trail as technology, according to compliance experts. Get one expert's insight into the debate between GRC technology and spreadsheets.

 

More Sarbanes-Oxley compliance software information

For more information, ask your own SOX compliance or software question. SearchDataManagement.com's compliance expert can offer personalized advice about SOX software implementations, compliance management strategies, GRC best practices and more.

 

Are you SOX savvy?

Test your knowledge and get new facts by taking a SOX quiz. This short, multiple choice-question quiz is a fun way to get information about SOX compliance software and concepts. All questions have answers and explanations. Try the sample question below to get started:

 

Which of the following is NOT recommended for meeting SOX compliance requirements, according to compliance expert Michael Rasmussen?
A. Technologies with integrated content capabilities
B. Technologies with workflow capabilities
C. GRC platforms
D. Spreadsheets

Get the answer and take the rest of the SOX compliance quiz.

 

This was first published in September 2008

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