VISIBILITY.net ERP Keeps its SOX Up
ANDOVER, MA – June 10, 2010 – Visibility Corporation recently gathered a group of manufacturing company executives, financial officers, and compliancy auditors to review ERP software features needed to help companies remain compliant with Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Requirements.
Jack Saint, Visibility Corporation’s President and Chief Operating Officer, chaired the meeting, held on June 8, as part of Visibility’s ongoing efforts to stay current on the interpretation of the SOX act and ensure its software supports such compliancy efforts.
The United States Congress enacted the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002 (SOX) to Protect investors by improving the accuracy and reliability of corporate disclosures made pursuant to the securities laws. Since then, many organizations and audit firms have outlined how ERP solutions can aid in IT organizational compliance with the SOX requirements. These requirements continue to evolve.
IT organizations and ERP solutions are mainly driven by three sections of SOX:
1. Section 302 requires the officers of the company to make representations related to the disclosure of internal controls, procedures, and assurance from fraud.
2. Section 409 requires disclosures to the public on a “rapid and current basis” of material changes to the firm’s financial condition.
3. Section 802 requires authentic and immutable record retention.
So, how do these translate into requirements for an ERP solution? Some of questions identified that are asked by SOX auditors on ERP include:
1. Are all financial transactions tracked and maintained so that any transaction impacting the General Ledger of the company can be reviewed historically to substantiate the user, when the transaction occurred, and what the impact was?
2. Are reports and inquiries available to retrieve this information when needed for review?
3. Are controls in place (e.g. role-based security) to ensure only those authorized can initiate such transactions? Is there control and tracking of which users are assigned which roles and by whom?
4. Are controls in place to only allow valid GAAP compliant transactions? For example, does the system prevent journal entries to warehouse accounts outside of the warehouse inventory transactions? Are there controls in place to prevent out of balance ledgers – for example, AR ledger being out of balance with GL?
5. Is all of the underlying software (e.g. databases, operating systems) on a current supported revision?
6. What controls are in place to prevent fraudulent transaction or hiding of history (e.g. to prevent writing checks to ‘temporary’ vendors and then deletion of history to cover up)?
7. Are procedures documented and are these procedure readily available to users of the system through custom online help?
8. Does management have access to real-time, current, financial information through an integrated system, ease of access, and business intelligence so that material changes to a firm’s financial condition can be readily available and easily determined?
9. Does the system retain historical transactional data indefinitely or in some archive so that the authentic and immutable record retention requirements are met?
10. Are there change controls in process, both as related to the software updates as well as changes in Engineering BOMs for manufacturers through an Engineering Change Control procedure?
“There are a number of basic requirements, along with several that are more obscure. Knowing that ERP is merely one piece of the SOX puzzle, we need to make sure our piece holds together and keeps our commitment to clients concerned with SOX.
Meetings like the one this week are critical to ensuring that Visibility and its clients continue to stay current on SOX ERP requirements as they evolve,” Saint said.
Visibility is a registered trademark of Visibility Corporation and its affiliates. The names of companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
About Visibility Corporation
Visibility Corporation is a leading developer and supplier of business software solutions designed for the unique needs of project-based, engineer-to-order and to-order manufacturers. Visibility's Enterprise Application solutions help small and midsize manufacturers of complex products operate their businesses effectively. Visibility has an extensive customer base throughout North America and Europe and has the strongest representation of ERP among complex manufacturers. VISIBILITY.net is an integrated, in-house ERP solution. It offers comprehensive end-to-end business functionality, integrated reporting, business intelligence and workflow and is cost effectively delivered utilizing the power of the Microsoft.NET development environment. The software can operate using either a Microsoft SQL Server™ or Oracle® database. Conducting business any place, any time is a reality utilizing this highly adaptable and scalable ERP solution.
200 Minuteman Road
Andover, MA 01810
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