THE PROJECTS CORNER
The company has been acquired by an American Home Decor Company, which needed to adhere to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Which also had to be proven by European subsidiaries.
The company needed to fully analyze, document and assess all business processes. Also it needed to create a yearly system in which the correct performance of all tasks and the documentation of all transactions were audited.
A number of audit regulations and questionnaires have been provided. Those needed to be adjusted and tested for the viability in the german (and later 3 European) subsidiary.
The method of choice was to interview all employees on a singular position for their tasks and how they perform them, as well as a short observation.
All tasks were documented in flowcharts and questionnaires. Those needed to be answered every year - for special transactions chosen by the head of finance.
We also implemented a software in which the answers to the questionnaires and all documents would be stored. This would speed up the external audit and reduce the paper work and filing. Furthermore, through the software, a mid-year review could be held from the german headquarter. Which reduced the cost to fly to the different subsidiaries by several hundred Euro each year.
For the first company in Germany, I could create a documentation and processes that would lead to a certificate of compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the first year of audit.
All 3 European subsidiaries followed within the next 6 months.
Not only resulted the project in the compliance with the SOA but also in a reduction of extra hours and reduced costs (~50,000 Euro annually) through the rise of efficiency.