Shopping Centres, DataRapt and Sarbanes-Oxley
What on earth could link Shopping Centres, DataRapt and Sarbanes-Oxley?
Let me explain.
In the late 1920s and in the early 1930s the phrase, “One Stop Shopping” was coined in America following the creation of shopping centres and, a successful business model which offered customers the convenience of having multiple needs met in one location.
The phrase today is used to describe everything from Web sites to TV shows where people can find most of what they need, including information, in one place.
This brings us to DataRapt, the “One Stop Information Source” that, insofar as is shown below, provides invaluable tools and information, (optionally on a day to day basis), that enhance a company’s internal controls which are at the heart of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation.
The American Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 provides for imposing horrendous penalties on the boards of directors and their corporations for publishing misleading financial statements. The directors are personally held accountable if internal controls, (their statutory responsibility), were not implemented and maintained to ensure the ongoing day to day accuracy of a non-porous financial pipe line.
Furthermore, internal control failures may need to be disclosed to shareholders where material errors are found and corrected by the auditors, particularly if, but for the auditors, the discrepancies would not have been picked up.
Apart from Sarbanes-Oxley and the demands of International Accounting Standards, it is of prime importance to accountants to provide a constantly reliable source of on-time and accurate financial operating reports and statements. This can be achieved only if, at the time of reporting, the financial source data is complete and accurate.
General ledger accounts are maintained to record, in financial values, the sum of all the transactions and activities in a company and a record of the company’s assets, liabilities and reserves.
An important internal control requirement is the substantiation of all of a company’s balance sheet values with reference to and reconciliation with conclusive external or internal sources and to ensure the required approvals are in place and that all assets and liabilities have been brought to account.
In addition there is a need to regularly review and, where necessary, analyse and summarise expense and income accounts with reference to the source of transactions that require proof of approval or an explanation.
DataRapt Sarbanes-Oxley and the Balance Sheet
Fixed Assets and Working Capital General Ledger Accounts
DataRapt proactively contributes to the ongoing function of checking and maintaining the integrity of balance sheet values that comprise a company’s investment in working capital and fixed assets which are substantiated by the transaction details recorded in sub ledgers.
New meaning is given to “Internal Control” as DataRapt automatically checks the financial dataflow of every transaction in a company’s sub-ledgers with the following objectives;
Parties automatically advised by email, when a sub ledger is out of balance with the corresponding general ledger account value included in the balance sheet.
Variances and their source identified and documented.
The What Next?” feature provides insight into the possible or likely cause of each variance together with suggestions for corrective action.
DataRapt has a product that provides for complete visibility and tight control over all aspects of supplier prepayments.
Prepayments are automatically posted to and cleared from a Balance Sheet General Ledger Account which is substantiated by reports detailing the transaction entries and the make-up of the account balance at any time.
Other Balance Sheet Accounts
As detailed below, DataRapt’s General Ledger Reconciliation module facilitates the reconciliation and justification of balance sheet account values allowing, as it does, for links with or reference to supporting documentation for account verification purposes and other documents providing proof that transactions are authorised as required.
The module provides the means and access to source information to readily analyse, summarise and review transactions within a given range of periods for a selected account or for a predefined group of accounts, (identified by a code description), which also facilitates the analysis and review of income and revenue accounts.
The comprehensive transaction details which are displayed in a listview may be categorized and, optionally, removed from the listview when using a facility to accumulate them into user defined groups with descriptions and system generated ID codes.
At transaction level:
- Source journal details may be viewed.
- A user defined status code and a description may be attached.
- Notes may be attached using the note pad provided.
- A facility to link supporting documents is provided.
- SYSPRO listview styles may be used to highlight transactions.
- User defined functions may be controlled with electronic signatures.
A listview displays balances and movements for the selected general account or account group for each period within the selected range of periods.
What more does one need?
Please let us know.