The public uproar that resulted from the financial scandals of Enron, WorldComm, and other US companies prompted the creation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. This act, often referred to as “SOX”, was enacted with the intention to bring about some degree of protection for shareholders and employees when accounting errors or fraudulent practices occur in US corporations. SOX has been arguably one of the most costly legislations for corporations in the modern era – literally billions of dollars have been spent in order for businesses to comply with the regulations outlined in SOX.
A few examples of these regulations include:
While it is very obvious that SOX has dramatically effected accounting practices, SOX compliance has equally impacted (arguably more so) IT operations at most medium to large corporations.
For IT groups particularly, SOX has been a complex project to undertake. With proper systems and controls in place, SOX can be achieved while keeping the business operations running optimally.
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David G. Peterson is a business consultant and author of Handling the Remedy. He has extensive international experience managing projects and operations for large financial institutions. He has worked in North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia skillfully managing business and technical requirements, core systems enhancement and support, merger and acquisition integration's, business process reengineering, off-shoring and outsourcing.