Simplify your SOX Audits
Simplify your SOX Audits
Congratulations to the teams who successfully finished their Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) audits with time to spare. For those in our community that are scrambling to chase down those final reviews and submission preparation, good luck! Keep pushing, you’re almost there.
As the final submission date approaches and a new year of “access chaos” and compliance challenges begins, it’s important to reflect on the past cycle. Evaluate what worked well, what didn’t, and consider how to improve your compliance processes for the next cycle. Take advantage of this opportunity to streamline and optimize your compliance efforts.
To get you started, here are 5 key insights that help to deliver more value from SOX audits in future:
- Automate your data extraction processes
Obtaining user information from DBAs, IT teams, and or manual logins into systems can be a time-consuming and error-prone task during audit season. It’s important to streamline the process and avoid overburdening teams who are already busy with their own work at arguably the busiest time of the year. Setting up automatic extracts means not having to bother these key resources and ensures you’re getting the data you need, when you need it.
- Reduce manual data manipulation
User access data can be technical and challenging for non-technical reviewers to understand. To make the most of the audit cycle investment, facilitators may organize the data by reporting manager and add context by concatenating fields, copying and pasting from other datasets, etc. However, there is a delicate balance. Too much modification may harm the audit quality, while too little may create confusion for reviewers.
- Less is more, especially with vast amounts of audit data
Reducing the number of touchpoints between a facilitator and reviewer reduces follow-up work and improves audit efficiency and user experience by consolidating multiple system or function reviews into a single activity.
- Weave a little extra ‘fat’ into the response due date
Many of us tend to procrastinate and lead things to the last minute, but this creates extra work for Audit Facilitators who have to repeatedly chase responders for timely submissions. Adding extra time to response deadlines can help facilitators manage the likelihood of last-minute submissions and still have time to review, follow up, and submit findings before the deadline.
- Have a solid and (at least partially) automated remediation strategy
Audit responses reveal changes in user access, some to keep, some to modify, and others to remove. Wherever possible, automating access removal through a support ticket streamlines the process and helps ensure the changes are made efficiently. The last step is confirming that the changes have been made and documented before the next audit cycle builds confidence in the organization and those impacted by the audit.
With the new audit year ahead, it’s a great opportunity to streamline your organization’s compliance processes. The introduction of identity governance solutions like RightCrowd Access Analytics can simplify these processes with its graph-based identity mapping technology. Utilizing your existing infrastructure, Access Analytics can bring immediate value and help achieve a state of ‘continuous compliance’ quickly and efficiently than ever before.
With the use of the right tools, your personnel can be informed of changes to roles and privileges, system owners and administrators have the necessary context for user access decisions, and business personnel are given the power and reminder to regularly review and adjust access for their teams.
Delivering dynamically updated insights as your organization organically navigates change, enables safer, smarter, your data-driven compliance decisions. The best part.. your next SOX audit becomes an efficient ‘tick and flick’ exercise (as it was always intended to be).