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Why Technical Writers Are Necessary for SOX Compliance

Two people sitting at a desk going looking to update a SOX Compliance

Has Your Organization Updated its Internal Controls Report to be SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley Act) Compliant?

The most important US financial system law/regulation is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act: passed in 2002 and effective in 2006. The SOX act expanded the number of required financial reports and compliance documentation for businesses in order to protect investors. These reports and compliance documentation encompass a wide range of information. Failure to complete them results in hefty fines and possible jail time. Because of the scope of information required, hiring technical writing consultation would make the process go much smoother.

How does SOX affect you?

The purpose of SOX is to have corporate governance and financial disclosure. Moreover, disclosure can be provided with accurate and thorough compliance documentation. To accomplish this, section 404 of SOX requires the filing of an internal controls report. An internal controls report includes the mechanisms and procedures used by a company to ensure the integrity of its financial and accounting information. Similarly, Section 404 states all public companies need to establish internal controls for financial reporting: this section can include wages, benefits, paid time off, and training costs.

Lastly, all financial information needs an accurate picture in the order it was compiled. By filing this documentation with the government and being compliant with the SOX act, your business is able to safeguard your financial data. Given the breadth of information required under section 404, having a technical writer as your SOX auditor would be helpful. Failure to comply with SOX can result in fines up to $5 million as well as potential jail time of up to 20 years.

How can Technical Writers help?

In addition, it is time-consuming to compile countless documents in compliance with the SOX act. Inexperienced individuals will not just find it time-consuming, but it can spread thin company resources. According to a 2008 SEC survey of public companies, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance documentation costs an average of $2.3 million annually. Along with the strict penalties and procedures of SOX, having technical writing consultation can help streamline the Section 404 audit process. Essential Data Corporation’s technical writers are trained in audit documentation. So, by hiring EDC’s technical writers to look at your company’s internal knowledge and policies, you can expect a faster and most likely cheaper process. A technical writer trained in financial documentation knows what to look for and how to handle the compliance documentation needed.

Conclusion

The importance of SOX compliance documentation for a company is evident in the fines for not complying with the act. By hiring EDC’s technical writers your company will be able to provide accurate financial reports. Most importantly your financial reports will comply with the requirements under the SOX act.

What can EDC do for you?

Whether you need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project, Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish. At Essential Data we guarantee the quality of our work. Contact us today to get started.  (800) 221-0093 or sales@edc.us

Written by Stanley Chu

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