This has raised questions on the efficiency of the IT departments of companies in carrying out the requirements as stipulated in the act. There were also criticisms about the failure of SOX act in various aspects related to the IT. This paper discuss about the impact of S-OX act on the IT department and a review about the various aspects about the act. “IT supports the corporation’s drive to comply with SOX by securing and protecting financial data on the network.” (Networkinstruments.com, 2011) The Act requires the companies to impart the compliance process as an integrated business process. The Act also requires continuous risk management and also regular checks about the IT control measures that are put into place as per the Act. The act also put additional accountability on the officers or firm which attests that the companies’ financial reports are true and represents the present state of the firm. The relevant components for the S-OX are internal environment, Risk assessment, Control activities, Information and communication and Monitoring. (COSO framework) Sarbanes Oxley Act- Implementation and Impact upon IT departments In order to implement the act effectively, it is very crucial to keep the program cost effective and also sustainable. There should be a cost-effective process in place to provide a greater transparency into the infrastructure and control measures to assure the correctness of the financial reports. In order to keep a continuous track on the system it is very much important that all the processes must be automated and sustainable. When we try to understand the impact of S-OX on IT departments, we need to keep in mind that the act was primarily created for the detection of accounting fraud, make the higher management accountable for the malpractices if any in the organization. The IT comes into picture where it assists the financial practices undertaken in picture. Since all transactions would be recorded in the fully computerized work environment and also all the audit processes would be recorded, the role of IT comes in. They are responsible for keeping a tab of all the transaction and audit and to retrieve these data when it is required. This essentially means that the pressure created on IT departments is not a direct result of the implementation of S-OX act, since the act is focussed on the accurate disclosure of the financial statements and making the people accountable for their actions. The pressure on the IT departments is coming from within the company as it is the only department which can realistically overview and keep a continuous track of the activities of a firm. “Companies are increasingly turning to technology in their Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance efforts in order to automate internal controls or streamline their activities, according to new research and interviews last week with corporate executives.” (Hoffman, 2005) Involving IT would help to reduce the time and efforts that needed to create the compliance reports at quarterly and annually. This would also reduce the costs involved in the process. Benefits to IT department while adopting the Sarbanes Oxley Act The benefits of the Act cannot be limited as benefit to IT department alone. Since the positives would finally impact the performance of the company.
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Changing interaction of finance, information and technology The Sarbanes Oxley Act was enacted to safeguard investors by making new guidelines for corporate guidelines and also suggesting penalties for the failure to do. “The Sarbanes-Oxley Act created new standards for corporate accountability as well as new penalties for acts of wrongdoing.” (Sox Onlin, 2011) The act has put tremendous pressure on the IT management system of the companies…
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