The UK’s corporate landscape begins the 2-year countdown to prepare for new governance, audit and reporting requirement: #UKSOX. The aim is to strengthen the internal controls and risk management systems of listed companies in the UK and restore trust in UK audit and corporate governance. The pressure is on Directors who will be required to attest to the effectiveness of controls and take responsibility.
The original US Sarbanes-Oxley laws are thought to be comparatively stricter than the anticipated UK SOX requirements. The US SOX federal laws mandate tight controls to protect employees and investors of publicly traded companies, preventing and detecting errors in financial record keeping and reporting for corporations. The development of SOX UK is still in the early stages, and the details are not yet concrete.
Rather than viewing the extra compliance as a headache, we have time to view it as an opportunity. Auditing experts at PwC have drawn on experience to predict the date of implementation to be within 18-24 months. This means that UK listed companies can begin to proactively prepare their strategies for compliance with SOX, lay the groundwork for operational compliance, and implement technological solutions to improve the process and reduce complexity.
If you are a publicly listed company in the UK, consider these steps:
- Before you zone in on the details, take a look at the big picture. Get to know your environment as a whole by taking inventory, running a full risk assessment across the company, and understanding all the controls you currently have in place.
- Use this time to identify areas or controls that need improvement and put remediation plans into action. Being proactive now will save the stress and headache of acting reactively when the SOX laws come into play.
- Look at the wider objectives of being compliant and work towards improving the entire compliance posture of your company rather than picking out specific control requirements. Consider risks beyond those of particular IT controls. The greatest benefit will be building a robust and agile compliance posture that is ready to face growth and change.
- Seek out automation technology. There are options on the market today that will seamlessly integrate with your existing infrastructure and automate processes, monitoring, and remediation, and will give you full visibility over your systems and operations. Cyber Risk and Compliance Management Platforms will truly streamline the whole process and not only help you achieve compliance for SOX, but improve your compliance posture across the board.
For automated comprehensive risk & compliance management, contact us at Centraleyes to see how our cutting edge platform can help you achieve SOX compliance.
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