The new rev rec guidelines have made for some labor-intensive process changes in some of the client companies that we work for.

It took me back in time to the initiation of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance and how it made stress levels skyrocket. Fears of the additional headcount that would be needed just to get the job done, what would happen if they didn’t comply, how they would disclose deficiencies and what affect that would have on the company, confusion about how to write a narrative or test plan and what’s a key vs. nonkey control.

Now, years later, working in the corporate governance line of business, I see an entirely different story. SOX has become so much a part of the fabric of the process within a company, that when a company is considering a process change, we actually hear “How will that affect the SOX testing?”

I think we would all agree that fear of the unknown is always greater than the fear of the known. As we work to make SOX controls part of our everyday life and the process becomes repeatable, the fear evaporates. The controls identified in the narrative have become part of the day-to-day process, employees are educated on controls and many companies have found that outsourcing SOX testing to companies like RoseRyan has been the right decision for their business.

This same approach will work for implementing the new rev rec guidance. Getting outside expert advice or implementation help, using some of the software tools that already exist (rather than re-creating the wheel) and looking for the simplest approach in implementation (not to mention taking a deep breath on a frequent basis), will all make the changes easier. And before you know it, you’ll be through the worst of it and it will feel like it was always a part of your process.

This just reaffirms how adaptable we all are. And isn’t it wonderful how time changes everything?