2016 Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Survey

2016 Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Survey

2016 SOX Survey Header

Understanding the Costs and Benefits of SOX Compliance

Sarbanes-Oxley compliance once was thought to be a relatively static, predictable process that organizations could rely on to be routine and, for the most part, static.  Yet market and regulatory changes continue to make this a more dynamic process, with costs and hours continuing to rise for many organizations.  This good news is that more organizations are recognizing the benefits of their compliance efforts through improved internal control structure and business processes.


How can companies face the future with confidence by managing costs, hours and expectations regarding their Sarbanes-Oxley compliance processes?  It starts with understanding not only their organizations and business transformation efforts, but also the requirements set forth by the PCAOB and the revised internal control framework, as well as evolving expectations of the external auditors.


In our annual Sarbanes-Oxley compliance survey, we look deeply into areas including costs, hours and control environments of a broad spectrum of organizations. 


Key Findings:

  1. ​Sarbanes-Oxley costs vary... a lot
  2. External audit fees continue to rise for many
  3. Hours continue to rise
  4. Internal control structures and business process have improved
  5. Many organizations are planning to automate controls




Sarbanes oxley compliance




Other Notable Takeaways:

  • ​Overall, nearly one in three organizations spends $500,000 or less annually on Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, and just under half spend less than $1million. 
  • ​A significant number of large companies spend $2 million or more per year, as well as organizations from industries including insurance and telecommunications.
  • ​Many organizations devoted more hours to SOX compliance in their latest fiscal year compared to prior years.  
  • ​A majority of organizations with mature SOX compliance processes have improved their internal control over financial reporting, and most organizations are leveraging their SOX compliance efforts to drive continuous improvement of their business processes.