Additional features enhance ACL’s data-driven SOX solution

Over 15 years after its introduction, SOX compliance remains a challenge for many organizations. With the hours spent on SOX compliance and controls (and accompanying costs involved) increasing each year, these challenges are creating major headaches for those involved in managing SOX compliance.

Making the situation worse is the fact that organizations continue manually updating or reviewing controls in spreadsheet-based systems, which creates an unnecessary heavy burden in maintaining SOX compliance. But ACL’s SOX solution frees up that time, enabling both the SOX team and control owners to instead focus on higher-impact activities.

ACL’s data-driven SOX compliance solution provides a simplified overview of your control universe and enables you to oversee the status of your controls, get deeper details on any aspect of a control with a single click, and stay up to date on control performance.

The most recent spring 2018 release includes four core enhancements that have been designed to make it possible to immediately spot outstanding or failed controls, and take action quickly to remediate issues and remain audit-ready. Let’s take a quick look at some of these features and how they can make your job easier.

1. Mission Control Module

New with the current version of the ACL platform, Mission Control is an integrated function that makes it easier to determine if controls are effective or not. Mission Control creates a centralized control library, mapped to the organization’s SOX framework, which eliminates the traditionally siloed view of controls. It simultaneously provides easy-to-understand performance metrics and a comprehensive view of all your controls, for easy reporting.

2. Control Performance

Control Performance enables all front-line control procedures to be easily tracked in one place. SOX testers and control owners can collaborate within the system to test controls, including self-assessments. It allows teams to automate monitoring and more easily identify and remediate control exceptions.

3. Robotic Process Automation

Robotic process automation is maturing rapidly in the marketplace due to its major efficiency and productivity gains. Automation of control testing is a huge time-saver with the ability to automatically pass or fail controls based on real-time assessments powered by data analytics. This provides broader coverage, streamlines focus on the most urgent issues, increases efficiency, and reduces outsourcing costs when preparing for an audit.

4. Citation Mode

Documentation is critical in SOX compliance and without it, your controls don’t really mean anything. Citation Mode is a powerful feature that allows you to ensure that your every statement is defensible. It replaces the outdated approach of document-to-document evidence linking, allowing assurance teams to reference and track directly from the workpaper editor evidence linked within key documents. You can also link specific excerpts of text within these documents, including policies, procedure manuals, regulations, service-level agreements, contracts, and more.

The features of this new release join ACL’s existing SOX compliance and control testing capabilities, which include:

  • Control Oversight & Reporting—One-click reports, dashboards, and completed SOX reviews make it simple to generate reports for management, project managers, or external auditors and regulators.
  • Issue Management—Even the most complex of issues can be delegated to authorized control owners for easy tracking, reporting, and resolution.

With all the increases in time, effort, and regulator focus, it’s clear that SOX isn’t going away and each year, regulators become tougher with their expectations around controls. These new tools make it possible for organizations to remain confident their financial reporting meets these increasing expectations, while also improving efficiencies and reducing the overall headache of SOX compliance.

See how our data-driven SOX solution can make your job easier. Download our SOX Compliance Solution Sheet.

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