The Importance of Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance

The year was 2000. One of the world’s most successful energy companies just had a record breaking year with over $100 billion in corporate revenues, employed over 20,000 people worldwide, and was trading at nearly $90.00 a share on the NYSE. Employing a special type of accounting know as mark-to-market, this company, dubbed one of the most innovative by Forbes magazine, could do no wrong in the eyes of investors and bankers around the globe. From here, I’m sure you know the rest of the story and that the company being referenced is Enron. The rise and fall of Enron changed the landscape of corporate accounting in the United States and forced companies to take a step back to “Ask Why” (The irony in this is that “Ask Why” was the corporate motto of Enron).

Because of companies like Enron and WorldCom, the Unites States Government and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) were forced to evaluate the accounting practices and policies of corporations. As a result, the government passed the now infamous Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, better known as SOX, which created new accounting, auditing, and reporting standards for all publicly traded companies in the United States. The Act was name after the co-sponsors of the bill, Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) and Representative Michael Oxley (R-OH), and was a great example of Congressional bipartisan work in the early 2000’s. SOX compliance requires that companies meet certain conditions when auditing and facilitate the formation of an auditing committee to oversee their accounting practices. The Act also holds CEOs and CFOs accountable for the accuracy of financial statements, meaning they can no longer claim “I didn’t know anything about out accounting records” if something is amiss.Failure to comply with these conditions results in fines and penalties.

So how do companies ensure they are SOX compliant? A product like MRI Audit Trail tool provides an additional layer of protection for critical financial data. It allows businesses to identify modifications that have been made to the data and tables in their MRI system. In addition, it provides the insight needed to catch data errors and track when they happened. It’s a supplementary tool required to minimize risk and help support the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance system.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was passed during the aftermath of several notorious corporate scandals in order to protect and restore the trust of investors. With Audit Trail, you can protect the integrity of your property’s financial data by running configurable audit reports as often as your business needs them. Additionally, you can create custom tables to view your most pertinent information all at once, all without the use of a third-party system to track changes to MRI data. It is imperative in today’s business world to ensure the accuracy of your accounting records and maintain SOX compliance – so what are you waiting for? Learn more about the Audit Trail property management solution today!


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