Achieving Financial Compliance – Following Sarbanes Oxley 404 Compliance Standards
Achieving Financial Compliance is probably one of the toughest best practices. Nonetheless, it has been achieved and there are success stories to tell. The requirement to achieve financial compliance is to follow the Sarbanes Oxley 404 (SOX) Compliance Standards. The Sarbanes Oxley Act was established in the United States on July 30, 2002 to facilitate best practices in businesses.
Defining Financial Compliance
Financial compliance is best defined as being in accordance with the requirements of federal or regional authorities. The compliance rules come from the Securities and Exchange Commission and must be embedded into best practices for productivity and financial success.
Achieving the SOX 404 Standards
In organizations seeking to achieve financial compliance, there are compliance teams which ensure that the company follows the necessary rules and regulations. The SOX 404 standards have their own requirements which need to be met.
Requirements of the SOX 404 Standards for the management of a company with best practice include:
- Concise report on the adequacy of the ICOFR (Internal Control Over Financial Reporting), of the company. This requires documentation and implemented tests of important financial manuals and mechanized control.
- The annual Exchange Act Report must comprise the Internal Control Report. It must establish the responsibility of the management toward establishment and control of the internal control structure as well as the procedure for compiling the financial report.
- The company’s financial report must include an assessment of the recent financial year, highlighting the success of the internal control structure. It should also highlight the procedures employed by managers. Usually, managers adopt the COSO’s internal control framework.
- The reports must be in accordance with interpretive guidance released by the PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Board) or SEC (Security and Exchange Commission). This means that guidance and practice must keep improving to decrease the cost of compliance.
Requirements of the PCAOB and SEC:
These requirements are fundamental best practices and must be adopted by financial managers reporting financial progress.
- There must be access to the design and mode of operation of selected internal controls associated with noteworthy accounts to minimize the risk of material misstatements.
- Clear representation of the flow of transactions in order to allow identification of the misstatement points in the report.
- Enable evaluation of the entity level control corresponding with the COSO framework.
- Achieve thorough assessment of risks of fraud by evaluating controls to prevent fraud risks.
- Measure the assessment according to the company’s size and sophistication.
- Reliability on the management’s competence, objectivity and risk management.
- Finally, it must conclude on the sufficiency of the financial report’s internal control.
Therefore the SOX 404 Act about compliance symbolizes the tariff for inefficiency which is meant to encourage companies to automate their system of financial reporting. Chaucer Group, for example has achieved financial compliance, setting its own record as an encouragement for others.