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

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.

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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
  • 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.