Sarbanes Oxley compliance experience

Click on each of the links below to read about how we helped these organisations to comply with Sarbanes Oxley legislation:

Client A  |  Client B  |  Client C  |  Client D

Client A

A company specialising in the design, marketing and distribution of fashion accessories – traded on the NASDAQ exchange.

The project

We were engaged in the UK (through another member of UHY International) to perform controls testing to aid this company in its ‘year one’ Sarbanes Oxley compliance effort. We needed a detailed understanding of the client’s systems and the risks that the business faced in order to determine whether control design was effective.

We assessed the operational effectiveness of the controls provided and gave practical advice to the client in order to remediate deficiencies in a timely, effective and efficient manner. This included determining a workable solution for embedding a control environment that was not onerous to maintain. We also provided an assessment of information technology risks and controls for this client.

Client B

A large international oilfield service company, specialising in technology focused worldwide geophysical and North Sea floating production services. This company, which has achieved consistent revenues in excess of $1billion in recent years, has its headquarters in Europe, is listed on a European stock exchange and has offices in 22 different countries worldwide.

The project

We were exclusively engaged in the UK to assist this company in achieving Sarbanes Oxley compliance. The skills and resources of other members of our UHY International network were also called upon as they were similarly engaged on this project in the US.

We were appointed from the beginning of ‘year one’ compliance, working with the client to develop a comprehensive understanding of the key functions that the company performs, the risks to which it is subjected and the controls in place to mitigate those risks.

Over the course of the first year we assisted the client in achieving its local internal control objectives. Through regular communication with the project management office, based in Texas, US, and working with regional compliance teams, we moved toward a company-wide approach with greater consistency throughout its key functions. We identified remediation plans for identified control deficiencies and, moving forward, we are working with the client on consolidating the initial areas of consistency determined during ‘year one’. The results of this being to establish greater efficiency within the control environment throughout the company, and to truly embed the refined control procedures within the day-to-day operations of the business.

Client C

An offshore oil and gas development and production company operating in the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea, and traded on NASDAQ.

The project

A member of our UHY International organisation in the US was engaged by this client to work with their company on ‘year two’ Sarbanes Oxley compliance. ‘Year-one’ compliance had been undertaken by a larger accountancy firm, and the client had been unhappy with the work they had undertaken. We were appointed to subsequently lead the UK compliance effort, including an assessment of information technology risks and controls.

Our aim was to build on adapting the ‘year one’ documentation and, crucially, to work closely and communicate effectively with the company’s management to determine their precise needs. As a result we provided practical help and advice in maintaining on-going assessment and documentation of the businesses risks and controls, including providing a useful database that the client could use as a tool for this purpose.

As a result of adopting a more personal approach and listening to the client, rather than providing a one-size-fits-all solution, the product and service we provided was effectively tailored and very well received by the client, who now has a clear plan for moving forward and making effective changes to its control environment.

Client D

The industry leader in the design, development and production of recticles and photomasks for semiconductor and microelectric applications, operating around the globe and traded on NASDAQ.

The project

As this client does not have their own UK internal audit department, we were subcontracted to complete their Sarbanes Oxley testing. Our UHY International colleagues in the US had visited them earlier in the year to make detailed systems notes/flowcharts etc. They used these, together with the client’s corporate policy procedures, to produce an audit programme that focused on testing ‘key controls’ within each process.

We carried out each test according to the provided audit programme – we had to complete a certain amount of tailoring on the programme at both the interim and final testing.

Through our work we assisted the client in ironing out different working practices between the UK and the corporate policy. We highlighted certain areas where best practice was not being completed – for example, reconciliations not being completed in a timely fashion. We were also able to highlight significant control deficiencies in the payroll system. The errors were located and the resulting new procedures should ensure cost savings in the future.

The client benefited from our independence from local management. We maintained a good relationship, and developed a common understanding, with the local management and exceptions or deficiencies that we found were discussed with UK management prior to reporting to US corporate.

If you have any questions about the Sarbanes Oxley Act or our Sarbanes Oxley compliance services, please contact one of our specialists.