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Research finds SOX approval grows with time

Positive attitudes towards Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance grow the longer a company has complied with the law, according to research from consulting and internal audit firm Protiviti.

The study also found that most US executives believe the benefits of SOX outweigh the cost following four or more years of compliance.

Protiviti gathered the opinions of more then 400 US executives in different sectors and in different stages of SOX compliance during the first quarter of 2010.

It found that in the first year of SOX compliance, just 39 percent of respondents thought the benefits overweighed the cost of SOX.

Protiviti suggested the growing approval in later years of compliance is mainly due to the significant decline in compliance costs as companies gain experience in applying SOX Section 404.

The survey found a 50 percent reduction in compliance costs among companies in their fourth year and beyond of SOX compliance.

Other key findings were:

  • Nearly 80 percent of all organisations participating in the survey said they automate less than half of their key controls, indicating an opportunity to increase efficiency;
  • More than 70 percent of respondents indicated a high dependency on spreadsheets, making it the top inefficiency negatively impacting SOX compliance efforts; and,
  • Almost half of respondents perform all of their SOX compliance work in-house.

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