The final project for this course is the creation of a case study analysis. You will use the article The SOX Compliance Journey at Trinity Industries as a resource for this project.
Companies today must ensure that operational processes are performing efficiently and effectively in compliance with current regulations. Accountants must adhere to domestic standards set by organizations—such as the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and the Financial Accounting and Standards Board—as well as global standards, such as the International Financial Reporting Standards, requiring appropriate implementation and assessment of internal controls. Whether developing appropriate processes internally or preparing substantive testing, external auditors must be able to quickly and completely assess the financial processes, determine weaknesses, and provide recommendations for improvement.
The ability to transcribe formalized or narrative processes into functional workflows allows an auditor to identify potential gaps in accounting systems. Thesegaps can result in material audit findings necessitating changes in the company’s control structure.
However, it is not only the process and flow of transactions that requires scrutiny. Companies evolve into sophisticated, computerized systems that require an indepth understanding of administrative rights, electronic process flows, and end user reporting.
In this case study, you will apply all of these skills in developing recommendations for Trinity Industries.
Though the Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) promulgated many internal control structure changes, the company is unsure as to whether they are applying too few or too many internal controls. Unnecessary controls place added burden on staff and cost the company thousands of dollars in monitoring and maintenance.
Your role will be to provide an overview of the company and its market industry. From this you will formulate your processes into a comprehensive flowchart that will be used to identify gaps in processes and other threats to potential audit weaknesses.
The project is divided into four milestones, which will be submitted at various points throughout the course to scaffold learning and ensure quality final submissions. These milestones will be submitted in Modules Two, Four, Six, and Seven. The final product will be submitted in Module Nine.