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5.0 out of 5 stars Toolkit That More Than Pays for Itself, September 19, 2005
This review is from: The Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 Implementation Toolkit : Practice Aids for Managers and Auditors (Hardcover)
One of the unintended consequences of subscribing to a Sarbanes-Oxley Listserv is seeing how many auditors, and companies, are struggling with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. There has been a lot of uncertainty for auditors, and companies, as what is required and how to go about setting up an effective audit plan and making compliance repeatable, sustainable reality. I have seen more calls of help for toolsets in this Listserv than I wish there were, but that has been the reality. However, there is now an outstanding resource to help external, internal auditors, and companies get their acts together by streamlining the 404 compliance process.

Michael Ramos, author of the excellent "How to Comply with Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404: Assessing the Effectiveness of Internal Control", has now written "The Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 Implementation Toolkit: Practice Aids for Managers and Auditors" (357 pages, John Wiley and Sons, 2005, ISBN 0471712256. This is not a book to sit down and read. This is a book that, from cover to cover, provides worksheets, sample documents, and decision criteria for their use. It is a book that comes with a CD-ROM of the entire documentation contents that will more than pay for itself from the first day you have it in your hands.

It is hard to look at a book like this and say "I like or do not like what the author has to say", or that "I really like the author's writing style". What you need to look at in deciding whether or not to purchase this book, is a series of questions.

Do you have to conduct Section 404 audits as part of an external audit or as part of a control self-assessment? Do you need ready to go and completely customizable templates to help you in this process? Do you want to use tools developed by an experienced Certified Public Accountant, instead of having to sit down and spend days on end developing your own toolsets and work paper templates? How much non-billable time are you willing to spend developing these tools? Do you want an easy to understand methodology that can easily be taught and passed on to other employees as part of a knowledge transfer and enablement program?

If you are like me, these questions will give you the easy answer of "Yes!". All of the documents provided on the CD ROM are in word format, and the disk also contains a Microsoft Word document viewer and a copy of Open Office. Each form comes with a purpose statement to understand its use, as well as instructions on how to use them. Ramos starts with the general work program and takes the process all the way to the end with management reports. There is also a sample general audit program.

Who Should Read This Book

The purchase of this book should be a no-brainer for internal and external auditors, managers, and consultants doing SarBox work. I add this latter group because there are too many consultants out there who are telling clients things that are not quite accurate. This book should help them provide better services.
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