As CFO, regulatory compliance is an issue that you deal with every day. But regulatory compliance for “the cloud”, that is new territory. If you are considering cloud ERP software, the cloud provider that you choose should have a track record with customers that share the same compliance issues as your organization. Check with those customers to make sure that the provider has been responsive to audit requests and passed all requirements. And ask these three helpful compliance questions about ERP software in the cloud:

 1. What is SAS 70? The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) developed the Statement on Auditing Standards No. 70 (SAS 70) certification to validate that a company has been through an in-depth audit of their control processes. SAS 70 Type II is a detailed audit that shows prospective and current customers that the organization has been thoroughly checked and deemed to have satisfactory controls and safeguards in place either when hosting or processing information. Public companies that are required to maintain SOX certification will be given access to the SAS 70 Audited reports as part of their annual SOX compliancy requirements.

 2. Can we be Sarbanes-Oxley compliant with an ERP system in the cloud? Absolutely. In many cases, the policies that the ERP cloud provider has in place are far more stringent than even SOX requires. Your cloud provider should be able to provide a description of each control activity surrounding data processing activities, including input, processing, output, and security to assure SOX compliance for your ERP system.

3. Is cloud ERP a good choice if we are thinking about going public someday? Cloud ERP is the choice of many start-up companies that hope to go public over time. A big part of being IPO-ready includes understanding SOX requirements for public companies and establishing company guidelines, processes, systems and procedures to keep these requirements in mind as the company grows. Make sure your ERP cloud provider can assure your compliance from the start.

Want to know more about ERP software in the cloud? You can get the answers to more questions in Panorama’s Frequently Asked Questions About Cloud ERP or the white paper 35 Questions Every CFO Needs to Ask about Cloud ERP Software. Doing your research ahead of time, making sure you are comfortable with all the terminology, will lead to better decisions.

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