CFO SHIFTS FROM SKEPTIC TO BELIEVER
When the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was passed, one particular small-cap, non-accelerated filer based on the West Coast was very proactive in preparing for compliance. For example, in 2005 the Corporation paid big bucks to hire another consulting firm, but then the deadline was delayed and new guidelines were issued. To add to the confusion, the Corporation's compliance efforts were largely wasted because the real risks to the firm's financial viability were not adequately addressed. "Our first consulting firm didn't understand small companies in general, and the nuances of our business in particular," recalls the Vice President and CFO. After years of going in circles, by the end of 2007 he was publicly expressing his exasperation in the trade press.
Light at the end of the tunnel.
Then, in early 2008, this CFO saw an article in Compliance Week about Lord & Benoit's first-of-its-kind report that quantified the actual cost of Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 compliance for smaller public companies. The statistics surprised him, so he contacted Lord & Benoit and ended up hiring us.
"Bob Benoit has a great deal of street credibility." he says; "We needed an advocate, someone who has experience dealing with other firms on issues that we do not have. This keeps us from doing more work than we really need to."
"Lord & Benoit brought much more of a bottom-line approach to our SOX compliance," he says; "Getting time with Bob Benoit upfront streamlined the process from the get-go."
"Since then, the process has been less intrusive, much more affordable, deliverables are almost immediate, communication is good, and our audit firm is very impressed."
This CFO's experience with Lord & Benoit has turned him from a SOX skeptic into a SOX believer. "SOX is still an expensive process, but the cost is now low enough to at least justify the process. Anyone can benefit by getting more organized, so no doubt we will see some benefits. Strictly from a financial perspective, SOX helps to get people to do things documentation-wise that run against their basic human nature."
"We would recommend Lord & Benoit. They have the most efficient process I have seen so far."
In 2009 (a recession year) the company had even greater profits than the previous year.