Sarbanes-Oxley and ISO 9000

Abstract:Critics say ISO 9000 doesn't measure up to robust quality programs such as Baldrige Award criteria, lean and Six Sigma, and they complain about the law's excessive documentation requirements. Yet by providing records and internal controls, the documentation requirements become a major legal asset when customer complaints end up in court. Under the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act of 2002 companies not only face fines, but the CEO could go to prison if the paper trail is not clear. Since SOX is a law, it tells you what to do, but provides no guidelines. The similarity between ISO 9001 and the SOX requirements of internal control provides ISO-certified companies with a framework that can be emulated to meet SOX requirements. Quality is relevant to SOX when the costs of quality are expressed in terms of profitability and market value. The quality manager can help keep the company in compliance to SOX and at the same time give quality a position of importance that may have been previously lacking. In …

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