General Question 1528

  • I’m a recent college graduate with less than a year of experience. I’m new to the corporate world and live in Philadelphia. Am I allowed to obtain the SOX Certification being that I don’t have a job yet? And, can some explain what CPEs and PDU’s are?

  • Hi,
    I am not familiar with the SOX certification. Generally, a CPA, CIA, or CISA certification is helpful for a SOX implementation. Since you are not currently employed, it might be a good idea to simply conduct self-studies (read other posts on this site for resources and useful SOX links), or pursue one of the above certifications until you secure a career opportunity.
    Hope this helps,

  • Hi - I had actually looked at the Sox Certification program in the past. There is an entry level programs for students and non-experienced professionals (where you only need to master the subject matter itself). There’s also an advanced and higher level professional designation requiring 1200 hours of ‘hands on’ SOX experience.
    On the plus side, SOX knowledge and skills are a very good thing to have in the business environment. The SOX Certification program may help in positioning for a future job also. I’m not certain how popular this new certification is among potential employers. It looks like good training if you have both the time and money to pursue it.
    Below are also the answers to your other questions:
    CPE = Continuing Professional Education credits … These often translate into equivalent college completed course hours (for schools or governmental agencies that accept these). It is used in the context that you have to complete the prescribed # of SOX training units to be eligible to take the exam.
    PDU = Professional Development Units credits … I have several professional designations and a few of these require work in the field of study AFTER you’ve obtained it. For example, attending a seminar or writing an article might constitute 10 out of 60 points needed to show you as an active SOX certified professional.
    SOX Membership program (requires annual fees of USD95 to USD145 per year)

    SOX Membership program (requires annual fees of USD95 to USD145 per year)
    Do you or have you considered a formal SOX certification to assess a potential candidate for assistance on a SOX implementation?
    I’ve seen many resumes but no persons have noted a formal SOX certification in the educational qualifications on the resume. Most SOX consultants have a CPA, CIA, or CISA. A CISP (Computer Information Security Professional) seems to be a hot area with many opportunities for those with this certification AND relevant work experience.

  • I am not certain how many employers will recognize the SOX Certification. I would rather see someone with a CPA, CISA, CIA certification where I know what they stand for. I have nothing against the organization that provides this certification, but I see it as a short-term gimmick, not something with as much long-term value as one of the other certifications mentioned above.

  • I agree with kyMike…
    In fact, while SOx can be complicated, it certainly is NOT rocket science, and being well rounded (CPA, CISA, etc.) is probably much more important than a certification from some company. This may change and the SEC/PCAOB may begin testing/certifying, but I doubt it.
    However, for a fee, i would be glad to grant a SOx certyification.

  • Hi,
    Generally, I do not post unless I have a question or something of value to add, but I was inclined to reply to your post and agree completely with your thoughts.
    I agree that the newly created SOX certification offering seems more of a gimmick to create a designation and target an audience that would otherwise seek a formal, recognized professional designation…CPA, CISA, etc.
    I also have nothing against the organization that developed the SOX certification, but I do not consider it to be equal to a professional designation and licensure.
    Clearly, holding a current CPA license carries with it, a more rigorous educational foundation, formal work experience, and requirement to maintain continuing professional education (CPE). It is also regulated by each state society of CPAs. These basic elements do not seem to apply to the SOX certification and the designation will likely be short-lived.

  • However, for a fee, i would be glad to grant a SOx certyification.
    Thanks John for the good laugh 😄 😄 😄 … The follow-up commentary was also good. Most likely if folks searched the major job sites (e.g., Monster, Dice, etc), they may not even get a hit on this new area of certification, but they’d get numerous ones on CPA or the other major professional designations.
    More comments from Milan and I can be found here

  • As an FYI, there is at least one more certification program.
    I’m somewhere in the middle of the debate that SOX Certification is ‘worthless’ or would be of ‘great value’ to the professional.
    For example, if folks needed significant SOX training, having them master the material and tests are going to make the concepts sink in better than attending a training course or learning from scratch without any formal training.
    Also, if I needed to hire a SOX team member I might take a closer look at someone who had certification, especially if all the candidates were equally qualified (e.g., background, skill sets, attitudes).
    With that said, the 2 SOX programs aren’t even close in comparison to the value of a CPA . But, it might have some value. It’s another line on the resume and it might help someone where companies needed folks specifically in SOX related teams.

  • I wouldn’t necessarily downplay the value of SOX certification, but rether, note that few companies, if any, seem to consider it relevant when making the hiring decision. In my experience, I have not met anyone with this certification either from reviewing resumes or through professional networking.
    Since SOX 404 is specifically focused on documenting, testing and opining on the adequacy and effectiveness of internal controls over financial reporting, and it is the external auditor that performs the attestation, a CPA certification and relevant work experience (internal audit, external audit, or compliance background) seems ideally-suited for the work.
    Unlike some of the technical certifications (MCSE and MSD) that were developed only after Microsoft products became firmly entenched in corporate America, the practice of auditing (internal and external) has been in existence for many years. I do not have an IT background, but these IT certification programs seem more well-developed, focused on a specific product (Windows, all flavors, Visual Basic, etc.), and of value both to the job candidate and hiring employer in assessing technical competency.
    Thus, development of a SOX certification does not seem to be anything new, but simply a repackaged, bundled product offering consisting mostly of public domain resources (PCAOB and SEC Guidace documents) that is designed and targed to those without the background described above.
    My USD.02.

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