Original Documents 2243

  • This is the first year that we are under auditor’s examination of our internal controls. During the testing they asked for the original documents in all areas i.e loan agreements, invoices, excel files etc. Is this a requirement for SOX purposes? Where is this written?
    This is a big problem for me as it is quite time-consuming. Can you suggest any solution to overcome this problem?
    Thank you in advance.
    Internal Auditor

  • Hi,
    Welcome to the SOX Forums.
    The request for original documents including loan agreements, invoices, Excel files, etc., seems unreasonable. The SOX Act does not address the format (original versus copy) for SOX documents that are used by the Auditor to perform the SOX assessment.
    Additionally, the request seems unreasonable if the Auditor intends to ‘mark up’ any documents received from your Company to note their conclusion after examining the document.
    You should meet with the Auditor to agree upon the documentation evidence that you will provide in connection with the SOX audit.
    You will not find specific language to support your position but the following might be helpful to you to prepare for the SOX audit and it is used by the Auditor to plan and perform the SOX audit:
    www dot pcaobus.org/Rules/Docket_021/2007-05-24_Release_No_2007-005.pdf -
    Hope this helps,

  • Thank you about the link. I have already read this occasionally. Unfortunately, the auditors are insisting on the originality of the documents beacuse they say that it is part of their methodology. I used to work in 2 of Big-4 companies and it is the first time I hear something like that. :? Anyway, thank you about your post.

  • It is not unusual in my experience for auditors to ask for original documents. With photocopies that can be doctored and computer files that can be altered it is right and proper that they do go back to the originals.
    That being said it depends on the risk and other supporting documentation. If the auditor can be satisfied that the risk associated with the documentation is low, or can be proven that it cannot be altered or are shown other controls which together provide assurance that the documentation they have is valid then that should also be sufficient.
    Ultimately it will come down to the auditors’ own comfort and assurance.

  • This is not a SOX requirement.
    However, it is perfectly reasonable for auditors to ask for original documents and in most countries auditing standards require it.
    There is many a case where the auditor has been duped by doctored photocopies, etc.

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