Sentri SaaS to Pass your SOX Testing
In today’s world making most out of the ERP or Financial Applications means to stay updated with the latest trends and technology advancements to keep your competitive edge. However, making changes to the financial system such as unauthorized business transactions, adding modules to your financial applications or ERP, or updating to the newest version, can put the data integrity at risk, which will result in your auditors confidence in relying on your ERP application, That’s when Sentri (SaaS Governance Solutions) works its way towards SOX testing and gives your auditor the confidence to rely on your Financial applications or ERP.
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to the customers over the internet. The cloud-based computing of SaaS allows the SOX compliance teams to:
- Streamline the process of evidence collection and testing
- Collaborate with internal and external audits seamlessly
- Automate access certifications to meet deadlines
- Update all testing and control information for references
Sentri has great advantages to offer, which is making it highly popular among the users. Sentri SaaS Governance Solution reduces time for deployment, lowers the process costs, and prebuilt evidence collection which is powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence, reducing the efforts of IT staff, which basically are all of those factors which makes the SOX testing process tedious to manage. Although SaaS had umpteen advantages, there are some disadvantages that come along, like insufficient scalability and external system attacks. Since Sentri is hosted in AWS (Amazon Web Services) and has SoC2 certifications, these risks are mitigated. This makes the publicly-traded companies worry-free about SaaS and its implications on the SOX testing process.
Audit firms have been failing to find appropriate evidences to put forth their opinions on the effectiveness of internal controls for the organizations. Hence, in the past few years, audit firms have recommended the organizations to make changes in their SOX control testing processes, so that the issues of internal controls are fixed effectively. For organizations this means changing the probabilities and also avoiding costly approaches to evidence collection and testing processes. These audit changes cause delays in issuing financial statements resulting in increased audit work and fees. Sentri offers automatic evidence collection for Segregation of Duty conflicts. Using our proprietary machine learning process, we analyze millions of transactions taking place in your financial applications and find the anomalies of fraudulent transactions. In addition to access governance, Sentri has a built-in engine to analyze your system configurations and suggests automated controls instead of manual controls like Journal Entry and Journal Post approval.
About SOX Testing
The Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act of 2002 was implemented to establish the internal controls as well as procedures to document, test the design, and effectiveness of them. Today, SOX has become the benchmark for organizations in which every company’s financial reporting and corporate governance practices are measured.
The process of collective evidence has been an extensive manual procedure. Let us look at the three major rounds of SOX testing. Each round has its set of challenges such as version control while collaborating on controls, risk assessments, samples, and testing documents.
- Initial Testing – The first round is of initial testing wherein the companies test the controls and remediate if any discrepancies are found. During this round, the SOX testing team sends out evidence requests to the control owners via emails. The challenge of this round is constant attention to every step like tracking the responses, evidence attachments, and approvals.
- Interim Testing – The second round is the interim testing wherein the team verifies that the controls identified in the first round have been rectified and continue to operate effectively. Every change made to the controls should be well documented and tested. In addition, the non-routine controls as well as the controls that high degree of subjectivity must be updated with additional samples.
- Year-end Testing – The third round is the year-end testing which include controls that are annually tested every year-end. These may include controls that may have failed during the initial or interim rounds of testing. For every deficient control found, the SOX testing team documents the remediation carried out to avoid further deficiencies and material weaknesses. After the year-end testing, auditors spend their time to test controls, review documents, and study management assessment, and finally sign-off.
Although the testing takes place at different times during the year, the SOX testing process is an on-going procedure. The SOX testing is a tedious procedure and the teams spend too much of time, effort, and money in reporting and remediating the control deficiencies and material weaknesses. Once a control deficiency is identified, the work for remediation of the controls begins. During this, teams may face challenges like using different platforms, and requiring multiple updates of documentation across the systems.
Sentri can automate the entire process of SoX testing and is built for auditors by auditors.
With so much of on and off going on, SOX testing shows a hard time to organizations as well. Prior to the external audit, it is important for the companies to carry out SOX testing, and identify and remediate the internal controls. For this, companies must leverage newer technology like Sentri and newer approaches that focus on the productivity to support, automate, and drive the internal control processes. Also, it is important to keep your financial data safe and lower your audit cost.
Hence, ask you SaaS vendor to provide you a copy of the Statement of Accounting Standards (SAS) 70 Audit report, when your company is subjected to SOX requirements. It clearly documents and attests the adequacy and completeness of the SaaS vendor’s internal control for the service that they provide. This report should be included in your audit of controls. In addition, have processes for keeping the data secure on company laptops, PDAs, smartphones, and other mobile devices. While using SaaS ensure that no sensitive data is being transferred unnecessarily.
Maintaining the SOX compliant financial controls of your company today is essential to have a secure financial reputation tomorrow. SOX help you to guard your financial data keeping the highest standards of documentation and protection as a benchmark. The SaaS vendors are also working proactively along with the clients to assure data protection, which is helping companies reap benefits.
Sentri is a one-stop solution to all your IAG (Identity Access Governance), IRM (Integrated Risk Management) and GRC (Governance Risk Compliance) requirements. Our Intelligent Enterprise Identity Platforms are built to provide holistic data protection against data breaches, identity thefts, and financial frauds. We realize the value of a robust IT landscape, which acts as a strong spine for any business. To nurture the businesses, we offer path-breaking customizable access solutions that empower identity management, securing apps and data infrastructure for cloud and on-premise platforms. Sentri offers you Software-as-a-Service model that will help you clear the SOX testing procedure and keep your financial data secure.
For more information about our products and solutions, visit www.sentriapp.com