The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which offers shareholders and the general public protection from fraud and accounting errors, is now almost a decade old. It was passed in the wake of a plethora of financial scandals – the most infamous of which was Enron – and established a system of controls, audit solutions, and reporting.
However, SOX compliance is usually managed by a select few employees in a company with the rest remaining largely uninvolved, Drew Reina, managing director of financial staffing and recruiting firm Accounting Principals, wrote for Business Finance Magazine.
In order to better integrate SOX compliance into the daily workings of a company, Reina recommends taking a top-down approach by ensuring board-level executives lead by example. He also advocates offering education sessions tailored to individual departments that relate workers' responsibilities to specific aspects of the legislation, and forming a compliance task force that represents a cross-section of levels and departments within the organization. To maximize interest and involvement, Reina advises offering incentives such as extra pay to workers who elect to participate.
According to a recent survey by global business consulting firm Protiviti, most organizations spend between $100,000 and $1 million annually on compliance-related activities.