The SOX Glass is Half-Full

Posted on 31. Oct, 2005 by in Accounting

I don’t know about you but it seems as though everyone and their accountant has done nothing but complain about the implementation, the cost, and the general headache that Sarbanes-Oxley compliance has caused. There are numerous articles written almost everyday outlining how much big business are losing, how hard small businesses are struggling, and how accountants are cashing out of the whole mess. However, it’s not often that you read about someone who has taken a positive spin on the entire process – something that I have been saying since the beginning.

Sarbanes-Oxley compliance is a fact. There’s no way around it. You may be able to postpone it or even delegate it to someone else, but SOX is here to stay for at least the short-run. So instead of complaining about how hard it’s going to hit the bottom line, why not turn it into a golden opportunity to do some “spring cleaning” and get your business up to the level it really ought to be. I agree that some of the requirements of SOX are a bit demanding and perhaps unnecessary – but the general idea of implementing and maintaining internal controls is something that every business – especially small businesses – should be working on. However, as auditors can attest to now that they have gone through the gauntlet, is that businesses weren’t paying any attention to controls – they were too busy growing and expanding and accepting VC monies instead of strengthening the internal structure of the business to support that growth and increased funding. Now these companies after years of growth and numerous system upgrades and installations are finding a giant mess underneath the surface.

This is the perfect opportunity, therefore, for smaller companies to use the “spring cleaning” to a competitive advantage. This means going above and beyond, however. It does not mean compliance. It means taking SOX as a process and designing your business processes around and into it. It means focusing on the people, the processes, and the technologies needed to get your business to a state where it can compete on whatever competitive level you want. For example, have you wished to ship product faster than the competition? Take a look at your systems and controls to see how that process can be streamlined!

Stop looking at the glass as half-empty and begin using that half-full glass to your advantage!

No comments.

Leave a Reply