HW Fisher was engaged to conduct the internal audit of a UK subsidiary of a large US-based group specialising in data integration software. The subsidiary had been acquired by the US parent the previous year and was in the process of aligning its systems and processes with its parent to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley regulations.
The company hadnt approached the alignment of its own systems with those of its parent in a particularly systematic manner and lacked an internal audit function. The companys auditor indicated that in its current state, the companys internal control environment was a long way from being Sarbanes-Oxley compliant.
Over a five-month period, our internal audit team re-documented all material transaction cycles of the company, including sales, purchases, period-end closing, HR and IT. We also liaised with the US parent to ensure that all documentation was consistent with the Sarbanes-Oxley work happening in tandem in the US.
We then devised and implemented a programme of testing, documented all weaknesses and helped the management make the necessary changes. Similar work in the French and Italian subsidiaries was also coordinated from the UK and in the Italian case, our internal audit team carried out the documentation and on-site testing directly.
We liaised with the companys auditors (a Big 4 firm) throughout the audit process and discussed all documentation, testing and remediation reports with its team. As a result, they were satisfied that the company was Sarbanes-Oxley compliant and a favourable outcome was reached.
Very favourable, in fact. Shortly after the audit was completed, the entire group was sold to a US multinational for $1 billion.