There are many SOX software applications available to assist organizations manage and report on their SOX projects, however I want to draw attention to a software application known as CERTRACK, and the company behind the software, SyncBASE. SyncBASE is a software development company that’s been doing business for about 10 years, and has 3 primary software applications; OPTRACK (Stock Option Valuation), IFRSTRACK, and CERTRACK.
Mr. Ramy Taraboulsi, MBA, M.Sc is the founder of SyncBASE and I had the pleasure of meeting Ramy and several members of the SyncBASE team during May 2010 at their Toronto Head Office, at which time I reviewed the CERTRACK. I was very impressed with the functionality of CERTRACK.
Please see below for some of the key features that I noted during the demo, and which are further detailed on the SyncBASE web-site.
CERTRACK – Complete Tracking of Internal Control Certification
CERTRACK is a workflow and reporting tool that companies can use to comply with SOX 404 (United States), NI 52-109 and bill 198 (Canada). It is a web-based solution for companies to efficiently manage their internal control certification process by providing a secure platform for the documentation, walkthrough, testing and reporting of internal controls, presented in a structured and auditable manner.
CERTRACK streamlines the control documentation process by retaining the documents and evidences to each key control in an online repository. It organizes control testing by informing the relevant personnel of their schedules and deadlines, allowing them to collect and review evidences, conduct tests and sign off on-site. It facilitates the reporting process with pre-populated Management Assessment templates highlighting the key performance charting and statistics for each audit period, downloadable in Word, Excel or PDF format.
CERTRACK allows a firm to move quickly from establishing audit parameters to actual monitoring of Financial and IT processes throughout the enterprise by decentralizing the control management and evidence collection down to employees in different areas of operation.
CERTRACK introduces a unique framework and methodology that allows a firm to complete their internal control audit through a top-down risk based approach that involves different members (process owners, management, external auditors, etc.) from different operations (accounting, sales, human resource, IT, etc.) from various locations (head office, overseas locations, etc.) within a single online platform.
Risk Assessment: By looking at the financial statements of the recent period, based on the account balances, CERTRACK calculates the materiality of the accounts based on the COSO guidance from both quantitative and qualitative perspective.
Process Narrative and Walkthrough: Based on the user profile, CERTRACK provides a simple and easy template to fill in Walkthrough and/or Narrative information, which are date stamped. At a click of a mouse, users may generate a sophisticated Walkthrough and Narrative report or choose to do a comparison between the two. In addition, any walkthrough exhibits can be directly stored in CERTRACK.
Flow Chart: CERTRACK utilizes an online flowchart creation tool to allow users to draw and store their process activity flow, which can be connected to key controls and risks to give a visual representation of a well maintained process.
Control Documentation: In every new audit period, the control documentation is rolled forward. However should it change over time, users may choose to change the control attributes and descriptions. CERTRACK provides a complete audit trail on any updates happened to a control at a click of a mouse. Moreover, because all the data is maintained in a single database on CERTRACK, any changes made to a control will be automatically applied to all instances where the control is used in.
Control Testing: Testing information is provided by control owners/ process leaders/ compliance department, including test procedure and method, sample size, and sampling source. Test responsibilities are passed to internal testers or external auditors, who will conduct tests independently through a separate log-on and upload evidences for management review. Similar to the walkthrough exhibits, all testing papers can be directly stored within CERTRACK.
Remediation: Should any deficiencies be discovered, CERTRACK keeps track of the remediation process by allowing the remediation delegates to log-on separately, and provide updates on the progress of the remediation plan implementation.
Progress Charting, Monitoring, and Statistics: During the testing periods, tester performances are constantly monitored. At any time, users can see statistics for tests that are outstanding, completed or behind schedule. Furthermore, users may choose to generate reminder letters or allow CERTRACK to generate automatic alerts to remind testers any uncompleted tasks.
Conclusion and Reporting: Control conclusions are done at the end of the testing process, where the reviewer of each process retrieves the information provided by the testers and signs off on each control. During that process, reviewers will be presented with the statistics on test results by business units/ accounting processes, testing evidences collected, and any additional comments/ remediation/ suggestion provided by testers. Reviewers then make a final assertion on the control effectiveness. At this point, CERTRACK can pull out summary and detailed reports to automate C-SOX (SOX404) reporting, which will save users a lot of time and effort to prepare and organize the information.
There is a vast array of C-SOX software available, and it would be very difficult for organizations to thoroughly research all of the alternatives. Therefore, I hope this overview of SyncBASE and CERTRACK software is helpful. I definitely think organizations should consider CERTRACK if they require software support for their SOX projects.
To register for a free 30 minute online demonstration of CERTRACK, highlighting key features and functionality please visit: http://certrack.net/demo.html
By the way, still working on completing your IFRS conversion? SyncBASE also has an IFRS project management tool known as IFRSTRACK, a web based application which manages all aspects of migration from GAAP to IFRS. To register for a free 30 minute online demonstration of IFRSTRACK please visit: http://ifrstrack.net/demo.html
I hope this helps. This is one of a series of blogs that is meant to convey information relating to C-SOX.
For further information, please refer to the ongoing series of C-SOX blogs on the Edelkoort Smethurst Schein CPA’s LLP web-site and please remember to contact your accounting professional for further guidance.
Please contact Edelkoort Smethurst Schein CPA’s LLP if you have any questions or comments.
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