ASC's automated contract management and business process management applications enhance accountability controls and ensure documented proof of Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) compliance
Tighten Business Controls and Accountability
Corporate governance has moved to the forefront of the global business agenda with recent financial market scandals, the overall market downturn, as well as other events which precipitated the introduction of measures such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) to tighten controls and accountability in business practices. For CEOs, CFOs, executives, directors, shareholders and their advisors, adherence to the highest standards of good governance has never been more important.
Accuracy and Reliability of Corporate Disclosures
In an effort to restore corporate credibility and restore public and investor confidence, the US Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) into US law on July 30, 2002. The Act legislates acceptable conduct regarding the retention of electronic and paper records for public companies, executives and the general population. It establishes new standards for corporate accountability and increases penalties for corporate wrongdoing. The act is intended to protect investors by improving the accuracy and reliability of corporate disclosures. SOX has wide-reaching implications for American organizations and industry experts are expecting similar legislation to follow in other leading global economies such as Bill 198 and NI 52-109 in Canada.
Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) is also known as the "Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act" (in the US Senate) and the "Corporate and Auditing Accountability and Responsibility Act" (in the US House)
Financial Reporting Impacts
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) is one of the most important acts of legislation affecting corporate governance, financial reporting and accounting practices. Corporations are now required to monitor, track and manage the creation and reporting of all financial and supporting information that is required for governmental reporting. This includes evaluating and maintaining proper disclosure controls and procedures. In many cases, these finances are in part determined by contracts that outline the corporate and financial expectations. To address the SOX legislation, organizations will need to be compliant in a number of areas.
Critical Areas of Compliance
Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) requires transparency and documented proof of compliance regarding:
- Public company accounting oversight board
- Auditor independence
- Corporate responsibility
- Enhanced financial disclosure
- Analyst conflicts of interest
- Commission resources and authority
- Studies and reports
- Corporate and criminal fraud accountability
- Corporate tax returns
- Corporate fraud and accountability
- White-collar crime concerns
Ensuring SOX Compliance with Automated Business Management Tools
ASC's contract management software, compliance management solutions and business process management systems provide an effective mechanism to help companies and their executives ensure compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) requirements, by enabling efficient and transparent contract management controls and reporting mechanisms for their business relationships and activities. These systems simplify traceability, provide on-demand searchability and enable ad-hoc or planned reports so your business can easily respond to financial audits. Automated approval workflows based on pre-defined business rules, contract templates and clause library (e.g., terms and conditions, NDAs, MSAs), among other contract management features, help assure your contracts and business activities are aligned with SOX requirements.
Documented Proof of Compliance
ASC solutions automate and streamline workflows, terms and conditions and other business processes required for industry and standards compliance concerns like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). ASC solutions provide your business with assurance that contracts, legally binding agreements and other documents contain complete and correct versions of terms and conditions, that full corporate business rules and controls are adhered to and that all necessary information is captured in the correct format as required for SOX standards compliance. The ability to quickly find a document in the online repository as well as track its complete change history (previous value, current value, who changed the contract/document, the date of change, etc.) is also an invaluable asset for business insights or when compliance proof or real-time disclosure audits are required.
To learn more about Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and how ASC can help you address related compliance issues read our Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance White Paper or simply request a demo and we'll walk you through the many benefits.