SOX and supplier/customer relations 1744

  • As an account executive managing a very large customer, I often have to deal with SOX compliancy issues being used as an excuse for limiting sales opportunities. Conversely, this customer recently began using strong-arm tactics with vendors, such as demanding unreasonable amounts (in excess of 26 weeks) of inventory being placed on consignment, which truly isn’t consignment but free product to use as they wish. Are there any provisions where SOX protects suppliers from tactics such as these? Thanks.

  • In short, NO.
    But there should be other legislation that does, but I don’t know specifically what that would be in the US. In the UK there is various legislation around restrictive or unfair trading.
    Ultimately though you have the ultimate sanction of telling the customer that you will not deal with them on those terms. You may lose their business, but surely there are other customers out there.

  • As Denis shares, a lot of control tactics are being created in the ‘name of SOX compliancy’, however they are no where to be found in the law.
    One idea might be to ask for the specific SOX section name from the vendor, so you have the proof of this being a true requirement. I did some quick research and couldn’t find a 26 week requirement.
    Please add www and paste into browser consignment law

  • Can anybody tell me if there’s a requirement to have a ‘hand-written date’ on any paperwork necessary instead of ‘software’ generated ones.
    Our client an US based company forces us to sign every delivery doc with a handwritten date. Is this correct in any way?

  • I assume that your client has requested the dates to be documented so that they have something to rely on for cut-off purposes. There is no absolute requirement for this, but I can understand how, having you do so would be of considerable benefit to them for their own sox purposes.
    I assume that the only reason it would have to be hand written would be if they felt that your system did not print dates correctly? To be honest, I cannot see the rationale behind this and it seems a little pedantic.

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