Spring a Good Time to Clean Up Your Accounting Procedures

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With the lessons of the last tax year fresh in mind, now is the perfect time to make sure your company's compliance procedures are working the way they should be.

Although many companies are just coming up for air after struggling through the difficulties of complying with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act or the Financial Services Authority requirements in the U.K., the beginning of a new tax year offers an ideal opportunity to put new procedures in place.

A report by SourceWire lists common compliance concerns, which include the fact that the chief executive and chief financial officer are now personally responsible for guaranteeing that annual reports are accurate. Another concern is the requirement that financial results are fairly and consistently recorded and that fraud is reported. Annual reports must now include a description and assessment of internal controls in order to show financial reports are accurate.

“Breaches of these and other requirements can lead to directors being prosecuted,” said Andrew Newcombe, compliance specialist at the technology company Datawatch.

The FSA in the U.K. is calling for better security over financial data to protect the information from hackers and fraudsters. The FSA said in a recent report that small and medium-sized businesses have not addressed the problem as well as larger companies.

Datawatch offers software that will particularly help U.K. companies listed on the U.S. stock exchange, which are required to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley.

Newcombe said in a statement: “We supply proven business solutions which turn every report into live auditing data so companies can obtain a 'paper trail' on the state of their core accounting system databases. Multiple sources of information, including source databases and published reports, can be quickly and accurately cross-referenced, providing a set of internal controls which are compliant with Sarbanes-Oxley.”

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