Aware consulting has an experienced staff of change agents that can implement Sarbanes-Oxley requirements at a very reasonable cost.
After assessing the various levels of risk throughout your company, we give practical recommendations and facilitate a smooth
change process. We then develop tests scripts and pilot the entire process. Our approach is accelerated, but comprehensive. We leverage existing
technologies and make them work for your specific needs. And we ensure that monitoring is built in as a normal, recurring activity to guarantee that
management is alerted should a problem arise.
THE AWARE CONSULTING DIFFERENCE...
- National resources
- Rapid scope definition
- Scalable project definition
- Tailored to your needs
- Sustainable knowledge transferred to your team
- Industry experience with:
- lean manufacturing
- government contracts
- corporate accounting
- regulatory agencies
- supply chain planning
- customer resource management
Aware consultants average 15 years’ project management experience. This allows us to achieve rapid scope definition, and then work with you to determine a task list with responsibilities and realistic due dates. We will monitor progress, remind each team member of upcoming deliverables, and provide regular progress reports to management.
Also called Value Stream Mapping, this service consists of identifying, documenting and flow-charting your current processes and control objectives. This provides us a starting point to assess risk and implement business process improvements. We can utilize one of many documentation tools, including Visio and Micrografx, depending on your preference.
In order to help you comply with Sarbanes-Oxley section 404, we use the COSO* framework to identify control activities by evaluating every transaction. We ensure that internal control mechanisms provide reasonable assurance that information is:
We test operating effectiveness to determine if relevant external and internal information can be:
- Communicated throughout the organization in a timely manner
We analyze at both the entity level and the process level, then document control deficiencies and develop action plans for improvement.
* COSO is the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations
BUSINESS PROCESS RE-ENGINEERING
Once risk is assessed and we have developed corrective action plans, we assist you with the implementation phase. Our business process re-engineering service includes redesigning procedures and the elimination of redundancies, paperwork and manual systems. We streamline each process to make it as efficient as possible and to remove non-value added activities. We will also help you with technology assessment and then either customize existing solutions or select a new system, all the way from the design stage to implementation.
STREAMLINING PERIOD END CLOSES
Under Sarbanes-Oxley, the allowed time to file quarterly reports is decreasing from 45 days to 35 days, and annual reports have to be filed within 60 days of the close of the year, rather than 75. To help you achieve these goals as well as shortening every month-end cycle, we evaluate each close procedure and activity. Our recommendations will include elimination, consolidation and resequencing of tasks in order to streamline the entire process.
Sarbanes-Oxley requires that internal control structures and processes involved in financial reporting are clearly documented. In other words, you must not only report the right numbers, but must be able to show how you got those numbers. To achieve this, we document the design of significant controls and define the escalation path for reporting deficiencies and the accountability for corrective action. This is all done using our procedure template that quickly captures your steps into a formal, easy-to-follow format.
We will assist you in developing a monitoring program to determine whether each internal control is:
- Adequately designed
By ensuring that monitoring is built into normal, recurring operating activities, internal control performance is measured over time through both ongoing examination of operations and separate periodic evaluations. This internal control self-assessment process is thoroughly documented and is setup so that key people are notified immediately when something goes awry.
Once we have developed internal controls and re-engineered your practices, we help you pilot the entire process, including business unit control activities. Our piloting services include the creation of a project plan, pilot test scripts and results documentation. If the trial run does not achieve the necessary outcome, we remediate the process then re-pilot, to guarantee that the desired results are achieved.
TRAINING AND EDUCATION
We start with a kick-off presentation, and then continue education through out the entire project so that all parties involved are informed of the reasons and benefits of implementing Sarbanes-Oxley requirements. After your processes are re-engineered, we will conduct end-user training to show your employees first hand how to perform the new procedures, and we follow-up to ensure that they are actually implemented.