Sarbanes-Oxley compliance: opportunities to reduce costs and improve compliance

PwC Internal Audit Leader, Jason Pett on Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.

The overall cost of regulatory compliance is rising and Sarbanes-Oxley 302 and 404 programs typically represent a substantial portion of the overall cost of compliance. Many companies still have significant opportunities to reduce SOX costs while maintaining or improving quality.

If your company is squeezed between SOX compliance requirements and cost containment pressures, PwC can help.

Using a thorough approach, we can help you upgrade your compliance program while reducing its cost. We have worked with clients to lower their SOX costs by 25% or more.

Many companies have lowered SOX costs by reducing the number of controls, and moving from manual to automated controls. However, these are only first steps in an overall cost reduction effort.  Many companies struggle to determine how much they should be spending on their SOX compliance effort.  A typical approach taken by companies is to perform a high level benchmarking exercise. However, we have found that this approach often creates misleading results. Identifying and then realizing optimal savings requires an activity based cost analysis and opportunity assessment of the entire program, focused not only on the nature and quantity of controls, but also on program management, technology deployment,  program structure, and resource models.

PwC has developed a proprietary diagnostic tool that highlights program strengths while pinpointing opportunities for improvement, and allows us to build a customized solution for each company. This tool highlights opportunities to realize major benefits in:

  • Quality – of the overall program and the controls
  • Reliability – of the internal audit work, often increasing external auditors reliance
  • Simplification – through controls elimination or standardization
  • Efficiency – by leveraging technology solutions to facilitate effective program management
  • Talent redeployment – from Sarbanes-Oxley compliance to more business-critical areas

PwC is ready to help your company improve SOX compliance and reduce your costs.