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What are common SOX tests and how frequently are they performed to meet SOX compliance?

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Answers

Kelvin Arcelay
Title: SVP Security and Risk Management
Company: Private Company
(SVP Security and Risk Management, Private Company) |

The external auditor will give its opinion based on the processes and validity of your Control Environment, how the company goes about and establish its risk assessment, what policies-procedures and control activities are in place to address the identified risks and what monitoring processes are in place to evaluate the efficiency and report on the effectiveness of the design and execution of the controls.

Ken Stumder
Title: Finance Director / Controller
Company: Ken Stumder, CPA
(Finance Director / Controller, Ken Stumder, CPA) |

Sox testing is very broad since the objective is adequate controls around financial reporting objectives. Similar scoping applies to Sox testing as to financial statement audits. Since the auditor's opinion on internal controls is typically rendered in conjunction with the opinion on the financials, control testing will occur with similar frequency as the traditional audit reviews. If you are a large public organization or significant subsidiary, it will be quarterly. If you are a less significant subsidiary of a public org, it might be done annually (or not at all). If you are interested in finding detailed test steps, I am sure there are checklist and similar materials available on the web. P.S. I've been at a private company for the past 3+ years so my thoughts may be somewhat dated.

Topic Expert
J.D. Floyd
Title: Owner, CFO
Company: CFO Outsourcing Solutions, Inc.
(Owner, CFO, CFO Outsourcing Solutions, Inc.) |

Respectfully, that is a kind to asking "what is the meaning of life?". SOX testing is in its simplest form a test of how a process' documented steps are actually performed and vary by process and company. There is no one size fits all.

SOX has become such a commodity that anyone can purchase generalized templates as a starting point.

J.D. Floyd

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