By Anna Maria Virzi  |  Posted 2005-09-07 Print this article Print

The maker of Kleenex tissue and other products faced a daunting task: Document 4,000 different financial controls. It could have been worse.

-Clark: The benefits of SOX">

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, aimed at reducing errors or fraud in financial statements, includes a key provision requiringcompanies to identify, test and document controls over processes such as revenue recognition, payroll and accounts receivable. Afteryear-one in 2004, here are benefits some companies said they've seen.

No. 1 Improvements in controls or documentation processes No. 1
No. 2 Better control environment throughout the company No. 3
No. 3* Strengthening of controls over computer systems No. 2
No. 4 Use of risk management approaches to analyze and implement controls No. 5**
No. 5 Increased control awareness by process owners No. 4
*BASELINE: Responses of 171 internal auditors on the benefits derived from documenting internal controls.

**ACTUAL: Kimberly-Clark found it already had strong controls in place, so the benefits derived from Sarbanes-Oxley varied from many other companies'.

Executive Editor
Anna Maria was assistant managing editor Forbes.com. She held the posts of news editor and executive editor at Internet World magazine and was city editor and Washington correspondent for the Connecticut Post, a daily newspaper in Bridgeport. Anna Maria has a B.A. from the University of Rhode Island.

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