SOX is an excuse to get your house in Order. Take advantage of it.
Kudos to McKinsey on this latest analysis – too little consideration has been given to how the analysis underpinning Sarbanes Oxley compliance implementations can contribute to evaluating organizational design.
When a company takes advantage of their tranasactional and entity-level control activities in their SOX implementation to really understand the workings of their company, they are poised for measuring and monitoring subtle changes in any number of management actions. SOX shouldn’t be an extra body of work- it should be the summation and review of evidence produced from good practices already occurring within the business, reflecting expert work product, scrutiny and measurment of results, comparison to objectives, and ethically conscious business actions.
This view is at the heart of all those conversations that have been occurring about “how much is enough?” on compliance tasks. If you did the bear minimum, you may be compliant but didn’t learn much about your business. If you did a full-blown effort but haven’t looked at it in this way, you have sunk costs that can be applied to drive real business results.
Clear direction, apparent accountability for actions, and a culture driven by ethical values is a well-aligned series of management actions to drive results. Even if your auditors don’t reduce your fees, at least you will be reaping the benefits through stronger execution on your strategic initiatives.