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RE: Sorbanes Oxley for dummies?

From: Mark W. Farnham <>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2005 11:34:16 -0500
Message-ID: <>

First, it is clear that the standard message from many external audit firms adds MANY extraneous requirements to what the law states. Unfortunately this does not mean you can ignore them unless your management wants to be the first company to fight back and risk the market effects of a qualified audit letter. Possibly congress will fight back with refinements to the legislation. If I recall correctly, audit firms where complicit in the episodes that drove the need for the actual legislation, and now external auditors are routinely dictating that IT should be closed out of modifications to production systems. Sigh.

Anyway, most all of the bad news can be gleaned from:

"This group is dedicated to
discuss issues relating to Sarbanes-Oxley compliance in an Oracle Applications Environment. We have had a couple of good discussions regarding Spreadsheet Controls (recent requirement by Big 4 audit firms) and PC Lockdown procedures. Come join the conversation!

You can sign up at:"

Which is clipped from OAUGNET. A lot of this is legitimate controls and issues. Some of it is regarding how to comply with the (made up) compliance requirements being pushed (with apparent unanimity) by the external audit firms. My expectation is that on the high side of a billion dollars will be spent in the US complying with the actual legislation and something on the order of tens of billions of dollars will be spent complying with audit requirements not directly supportable by the actual legislation.

I hope this helps.

Oh -- and the short answer is: Sign up one or more DBAs as reports to the CFO and highest official in the Human Resources chain, and make them sign all the relevant confidentiality and fiduciary responsibility documents. Then the DBAs so commissioned are part of the "Functional Team." Make them pay you for the additional responsibility. Handling all the audit issues where "This must be done by the functional authority who understands the business issues and ramifications of changes to the material statements of the business" is well worth the extra money they should pay you to take on the extra authority.

Cynically yours,


All opinions rendered are LAY opinions. Not a member of any (law) bar. Not affiliated with FASB or any other accounting standards board. Not a CPA. Opinions are based on anecdotal reports in the industry and not on any formal statistical survey.

-----Original Message-----

[]On Behalf Of Kline.Michael Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2005 10:06 AM To:
Subject: Sorbanes Oxley for dummies?

Has anyone done a good paper on what Sorbanes Oxley means for the DBA and that related group?

Some of our "requirements" are quite large and usually based on "I THINK Sorbanes Oxley may require it.

It would be nice to know without having to have a law degree.

Michael Kline

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-- Received on Thu Jan 13 2005 - 10:42:31 CST

Original text of this message