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Think outside the SOX box: Automate your controls - EY - Global

Think outside the SOX box

Automate your controls

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Testing is the most time-consuming of the three key SOX activities.

SOX compliance is a massive undertaking. 35% of respondents have more than 1,000 controls, more than 60% of which are key controls. Increasing use of automated controls can reduce your costs.

What is your company’s total number of SOX-related controls?

Total number of SOX-related controls

The majority of respondents have fewer than 1,000 controls.

Total number of SOX-related controls

The time factor of SOX compliance is a major drain on resources

Then factor in that, for 62% of the companies, the testing of key controls alone took at least five hours...per control.

Add test of design, walk-through and all the controls that aren’t designated as key — which could be 20%–40% of the total number of controls — and the time in the field to actually perform all the manual controls.

In short, SOX is a tremendous drain on resources that could be deployed on other, more value-added tasks.

Reduce your number of touch points

By increasing your use of preventative automated controls and "turning on" key switches in IT systems, you can drive down the number of manual touch points and labor-intensive detect controls. Similarly, using automated tools in the SOX controls-testing process will have an immediate impact on SOX costs.

Increasing use of automated controls can reduce your costs in other ways too. Fifty-five percent of survey participants indicated that their external auditors relied on 51% or more of the walk-throughs and testing work performed in-house.

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