Knowledge Center
 White Papers
 Data Sheets
 Advisors Research

Monday, February 28, 2005

Are We Finally Finished? Ongoing Sarbanes-Oxley Activities for Internal Auditors

By Robert Moeller

March 2005 — Many internal auditors are just now experiencing their first full year of helping their organizations comply with Section 404 -- the internal control reviews -- of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). This has been a difficult experience for many internal auditors. Some have been very busy drafting test plans and helping their organizations achieve Section 404 internal compliance while others have stood on the sidelines as hordes of expensive consultants arrived to complete the work.

In either event, internal audit often did not have the attention of management to effectively perform their ongoing reviews of internal controls and other audit activities. For many, this first year of achieving Section 404 compliance has been a difficult and time-consuming task. And it is not over quite yet.

Even if they were not heavily involved with that first year of SOX Section 404 work, internal auditors are ideal catalysts to help their organizations to reevaluate and somewhat rethink that first and often very hard year of effort. Some SOX-related internal audit projects to help make the next year a perhaps a little more painless for an organization include:

I. Auditing the Section 404 Compliance Project – Lessons Learned

No matter what their role during the first round of Section 404 compliance work, internal audit should launch a "lessons learned" type of evaluation audit covering the overall SOX project but with an emphasis on the Section 404 work. Internal auditors often perform similar types of reviews such as an audit of the results of an IT disaster recovery test. These are not audits – to use that old line – to visit the battlefield after the battle to shoot the wounded. Rather, this is the type of audit where internal audit should rely on its project oriented skills and abilities to look at what happened and how it could be done better in the future. Even if the SOX Section 404 project went extremely well, this is a time to consider what could be done more efficiently and effectively in the future.

The Section 404 project should have been managed similar to any other major project activity, such as for the installation of a new information system. This would include a definition of the tasks to be accomplished, documentation describing how the various project elements are linked together, some type of progress reporting process, and a mechanism to keep track of the time and expenses. Internal audit should look at this past 404 exercise in terms of how the project was managed and to identify a series of "lessons learned."

II. Cleaning up Reported Control Deficiencies

Almost all organizations ended up with a list of control deficiencies, ranging from major to minor as part of their Section 404 work. After the initial work was completed and assuming there were no major items on this list, it becomes easy to forget them until "next time." However, that next time will soon arrive. Internal audit can perform a real service to management by taking responsibility for this deficiency reporting process. This is very similar to the process of following up on the status of internal audit report findings and recommendations. This is a natural ongoing activity for any internal audit group.

III. Keeping SOX Documentation Current

Many organizations completed their 404 work with a mixture of hard and soft -- paper and computer systems based -- documentation that often was not organized all that well. A plant controller at a remote location, for example, may have ended up with several three ring notebooks of documentation placed in the controller’s office. That arrangement works as long as that same controller stays on the job. However, we all know how often organizational charts and people change. Internal audit should review the existing documentation retention standards, determine that all key processes have been covered, and then perform some limited tests to determine that the documentation is still in place. It is far better to know where things are located at present than to have to do a frantic search for the next round of Section 404 work.

IV. What did it Cost?

Virtually every organization soon found that the entire compliance exercise was very expensive. However with the tight due dates and many outside consultants involved in the process, there often was little attention given to monitoring the cost of this project. Internal audit might perform a real service to management by performing an audit of the costs associated with this compliance. They may find such things as departments that charged totally non-applicable expenses to their Section 404 project. In any case, such an after-the-fact audit will allow financial management and the audit committee to have a better understanding of the costs associated with SOX going forward.

V. Initiating a Continuous Improvement System

Audits of the past SOX Section 404 work will be much more valuable if those "lessons learned" can be turned in to some positive suggestions for improvements. Internal audit should initiate an ongoing process to work closely with the audit committee, financial management and their external auditors to improve the process as we move in to the future.

VI. Internal Audit’s SOX Role Going Forward

The basic requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley and its section 404 will certainly not change all that much in the short term years. Things hopefully will be less focused on paperwork and more on substance, but organizations will soon be faced with another round. Since much of the documentation has been done, things should be easier going forward. Internal auditors should keep themselves very aware of this process and its ongoing changes. Rather than bringing in teams of outside consultants, who are difficult to locate in future period, they should consider taking a more active and ongoing role in many aspects of SOX compliance.

posted by Brian Moran @ 2:44 PM   5 comments

At 7:08 PM, Blogger Henryrmsy said...

Thanks for the look see at your blog. For me business acumen is the name of the game. So doing allowed me to collect what I have on display at Have a good day.

At 6:22 PM, Blogger Henryrmsy said...

Thanks for the look see at your blog. For me principled right livelihood is the name of the game. So doing honorably and with gratitude allowed me to collect what I have assembled at Have a good day.

At 2:29 AM, Blogger Accounting Center said...

I just came across your blog and wanted to drop you a note telling you how impressed I was with the information you have posted here.
I also have a web site & blog about accounting article
so I know what I'm talking about when I say your site is top-notch! Keep up the great work!

At 12:20 PM, Blogger Car Loans Home said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a used car loan uk
site/blog. It pretty much covers used car loan uk
related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

At 7:31 PM, Blogger forstine said...

Start Making Money 'Processing Judicial Judgments'

One of a kind CD ROM with included media player and bonus material Never seen or ever has there been anything like it. Platform :: Windows 98/2000/ME/XP

don't have to print the whole thing out anymore cause you can't read it all sitting in front of your computer.

This CD Rom has the course cleverly seperated and ready for easy reading. No thumbing through the papers to cross reference or to get back to a certain page. Just click on the chapters and go exactly where you wanna go each and every time.

Absolutely NO SELLING. You don't even have to talk to your clients.
Leave the comfort of your home ONLY occasionally to go to the courthouse.

Judgment recovery is in its infancy throughout the entire country but this industry is getting ready to explode!! There are literally millions of people in our country today who are holding a judgment that was awarded to them by the court, and they have no way to collect it. Judgment recovery is a tremendous business that is just catching fire, and it is very likely that you will be the only Judgment Recovery Specialist in your town.

You will recieve this business start up CD ROM with an option to purchase a website for your newly formed business go here to see what your website will look like:

What is judgment recovery?

When two people go to court over a dispute, only one of them wins. The winner (plaintiff), is awarded a judgment for a designated amount of money. Now comes the problem. How to collect the money owed to them. That's what judgment recovery is - the recovery of the funds awarded to the plaintiff in the judgment. The existing recovery methods leave a lot to be desired. Collections agencies don't work - all they do is send some nasty letters and make some phone calls. Attorneys will ask for a retainer, then it will cost an arm and a leg - if the attorney can collect it at all. Trying to collect it alone doesn't work, because no one knows how to go about it. So chances are, anyone awarded a judgment ends up holding a court-awarded piece of paper that does them absolutely no good whatsoever. All because no one knows HOW to collect the judgment! Having been awarded a judgment is one thing, collecting it is quite another.

The answer?
A Judgment Recovery Specialist! As a Recovery Specialist, you are the one they will come to in order to collect their judgment. The plaintiff will pay you a handsome commission to recover the money owing him from the judgment. No! You don't have to go to court or sue anyone, this has already been done by the plaintiff. You simply help him/her collect their money. So the age old dilemma of how to collect a judgment is quickly opening up a wide door of opportunity for millions of Americans, all because of Judgment Recovery Specialists. This is a long-awaited answer to a decades-old problem.

Is judgment recovery hard to do?
Not at all. Judgment recovery is not as difficult as collection agencies and attorneys would have the public believe. You locate your clients (those who have been awarded a judgment), by going to your local county court house, looking at the county records (these records are public and are available to anyone who wishes to see them), and making a list of those you want to contact. Then it's as simple as going home and sending them a letter explaining your services. You don't have to sell anything and you don't even have to talk to people on the phone if you don't want to. But you can believe once they get your letter and understand what you're going to do for them, they will be ringing your telephone off the hook. Getting your clients is no problem whatsoever. You'll find very quickly that you'll have more clients than you can handle. What a great position to be in. There are so few Recovery Specialists in the country that once the word gets around, you'll find business coming from everywhere!

Why will your clients be so anxious to pay you such great commissions?
Because 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing. And that's what they have now. Nothing! Just a piece of paper that says they are owed 'x' number of dollars. That's it! A piece of paper. They want the money in their hands, not a piece of paper, and they are delighted to pay you up to 50% of the recovered funds in order to get their share of the money. This is the standard commission structure for the judgment recovery industry.

A Judgment Recovery Specialist is the answer for millions of people. This course is designed to teach you everything you need to know about becoming a judgment recovery specialist. It will show you how to locate debtors and their assets anywhere in the country. All the tricks of the trade are here. Never before has there been such a complete, comprehensive course of this kind offered to the public. Here are some of the chapters in this fantastic manual:

Where to Find All the Judicial Judgments You Can Handle!
What to Look For
Having Judgments Assigned to You
Your Fees
Responses from Judgment Holders
Debtor Work Sheet
Industry Etiquette
How to Find Debtors - ANYWHERE!
How to Find Debtor's Assets
Resources/Credit Bureaus
What Assets to Seize
Mailing a Summons
Collecting Post-Judgment Interest/Costs
Out of State Judgments
Samples of Letterhead/Business Envelopes

As in any profession that touches on utilizing state law, you will find that familiarizing yourself with the statutes in your particular state concerning the collection of judgments to be your best ally. There is no substitute for knowledge. This manual will teach you all you need to know about recovering judgments for others. Just think of how many people you personally know that are holding a worthless judgment because it can't be collected. Once you begin to talk about it, you'll find there are more people than you ever imagined that have been awarded a judgment, but have never been able to do anything to collect it. Now you can provide a valuable service to them and make yourself a tremendous income at the same time.

Your fees are based on a percentage of the judgment. As an example, if your client has a judgment for $5,000, and your fee to collect it is 50% of the judgment, your fee would be $2,500. You can see it wouldn't take too many judgments in a month's time to make an incredible income. A lot of your clients will be doctors, hospitals, jewelers, apartment owners, etc. These people often win multiple judgments and will be a source of continuous business for you. You can adjust your fee schedule downward for those who give you more than one judgment to collect. Hard work and dedication to your client are the secret ingredients to any business. Judgment recovery is no exception. We are not offering a "get-rich-quick" scheme. This is a highly professional, exceptionally lucrative way to earn your living without leaving the comfort of your home, except for trips to the court house and the bank. Just think of the respect you will command in your community. You and your family will be proud that you've chosen to be a Judgment Recovery Specialist.

I offer this item with website: View my company's site to see what yours will look like ofcourse it can all be customized for you.

CD ROM also contains very important links and other information, 2 bonus ebooks are also included with this CD ROM already convienently installed on the disk. Plus this CD ROM also has a small media player on it, just in case you'd like to listen to your favorite tune while sharpening your knowledge.

affiliate program making moneyjudgment


Post a Comment

<< Home


Powered by Blogger