So what is Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), and how does it apply to Electronic Document Management Systems?
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, aka the Public Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002, was signed into law after a myriad of high visibility corporate accounting scandals, such as: WorldCom and Enron. The act affects all public companies, and places high requirements on accounting standards, improved corporate reporting controls and visibility into the financial inter workings of an organization. The act imposes personal and criminal penalties for financial mismanagement, and enforces strict accountability.
The main crux of the Act requires executives to personally affirm the validity of financial statements, and also requires auditor attestation and complete documentation for backup on the statements.
So where do Document Management Systems come into play with respect to Sarbanes-Oxley?
When an organization is looking to comply with SOX requirements, there are many roadblocks:
- Large volumes of documentation are required for verification and audit purposes.
- Many of the accounting practices and procedures are very manual in nature, and the processes for monitoring, tracking and auditing is prone to human error.
- Total visibility to the entire financial picture is almost impossible with paper-based systems.
- De-centralized document storage can make a full and complete audit impractical.
An Electronic Document Management System or Electronic Content Management System can provide simplified means to comply with SOX:
- Having a centralized electronic repository for search and verification can minimize effort, and maximize an organization's ability to find key documentation.
- The ability to automate the scanning, indexing and archiving of documentation allows for centralized monitoring, reporting, tracking and auditing of all compliance activities.
- Centralizing all documentation allows for a key strategic view to all compliance critical information.
In a nutshell, technology allows the organization to simplify and centralize all the efforts surrounding compliance. For more information from http://www.scanguru.com/ , click on the link below: