Thursday, January 21, 2010

End of SarbOx? Not the end of the world...

The efficiency killing, shareholder saving regulation for public companies has its head on the chopping block. Or something like that, according to Amanda Becker, in an article on BNET: The End of SarbOx - The Supreme Court weighs in. Maybe the companies who want to see the back of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act are hiding something - an inability to understand how to make their business processes better.

I'm not qualified to comment on whether the Supreme Court actually has the authority to rule the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), created by the Act, as being unconstitutional. I don't even know whether I consider the Free Enterprise Fund, a free-market advocacy group that filed the suit as particularly relevant in a time when the free market economy is in such a shambles. What I do believe is that if companies spent as much time and money automating their internal controls and improving their operations as they did lobbying against SarbOx, we'd have not only more stable investment opportunities, but the companies would be operating efficiently and cost effectively - better for everyone.

What's the problem guys? Still worried about how to quickly and easily implement some practical improvements to your business processes? BPM is effectively owned by IBM now, so don't expect anything too agile from that technology. Although I'm sure with a big enough infusion of cash into Big Blue's coffers you'll see some interesting results (and for more discussion of how to burn through your IT budget faster, see this ebizq forum).

If you are still trying to understand the difference between the SarbOx options of (#1) documenting your processes and internal controls or (#2) implementing them with systems, try to explain to yourself how the pretty Visio diagrams of your processes actually help your business. It is time for a new approach that allows you to document your business processes and internal controls AND make them better too, without the huge investment required from BPM. This can consist of new software and services, current systems, and some lean thinking to strip out the stuff you just don't need to do. Whatever you do, do it for the sake of making your business better, not just because the regulator says you have to do so.

A post from the Improving It blog

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