SMBs should also brush up on SOX requirements to figure out exactly what their business needs to do to comply. Public companies will be forced to comply, while compliance is voluntary for private firms, which will also benefit from better corporate governance. Advises Yankee: "Talk to executives to learn about your company's future or exit strategy (IPO or selling to a public company), corporate debt structure, engagement with venture capitalists, private investors or commercial banks, etc. Each of these factors will determine how much your firm needs to comply."
Most significantly, the consultancy advises SMBs to act now, since failure to comply by the SOX deadlines could lead to disastrous penalties and fines. "Compliance takes ample time because it requires a detailed assessment of business practices, internal reporting controls, data retention policy, supporting IT infrastructure and determination and execution of fixes to ensure financial accuracy and reporting speed," Yankee wrote.
For more information on Sarbanes-Oxley, read Parts 1 and 2 of the recent SDCExec.com series on Contract Management: Five Myths of Contract Management, and Contract Management: Improving Corporate Governance.Other recent SDCExec.com articles on Sarbanes-Oxley: