Much like how the Enron Corporation scandal catalyzed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the British government has acted in the wake of notable business collapses. UK SOx will strengthen the UK Corporate Governance Code, mandating an explicit statement by directors on the effectiveness of the company’s internal controls, together with the basis for that assessment.

UK SOx Compliance: Who's Affected and When It Begins?

While details are pending, indications suggest that the UK SOx consultation paper, which imposes additional reporting obligations on Publicly Listed Entities (PIEs) – including both listed and unlisted companies, as well as limited liability partnerships with 750 or more employees and a turnover of at least GBP 750 Million – will be finalized soon. Additionally, the Financial Reporting Council (FCR) will be replaced by the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA) as the primary regulator for UK SOx. Company directors will also be mandated to report their efforts in detecting and preventing material fraud while enhancing transparency in risk management and monitoring .

Figure 1: Advantages of Robust UK SOx Internal Controls

A Pathway to UK SOx Readiness

Drawing from our own successful experiences in control transformation initiatives in the U.S. following the implementation of SOx, organizations stand to gain significantly by fortifying internal controls, especially in financial reporting. These benefits manifest across various levels and aspects of the organization by deploying a structured approach:

As part of this, you’ll need to review your existing resources and practices as well as the company's checks and approval systems relating to reporting and auditing to identify gaps that could make directors liable under the new regulations. CFOs and other directors must implement new controls on the processing and verification of financial data. These must be more sophisticated, accurate and timely than the existing versions.

Addressing these gaps and upgrading your reporting and approval systems may require you to review your staffing and technological capability. UK SOx demands a mindset change not only within the finance function but across the organizational spectrum. You should treat it like a change management program. Your staff must change how they operate and accept greater managerial responsibilities.

You must ensure that your teams are familiar with their individual responsibilities under the new regime and ready to revise their procedures. People training and effective communications across all teams in the research and implementation stage of UK SOx, as well as in the day-to-day operation of the new regime, is critical. This will be achieved by being aware of updates and amendments.

To become fully compliant with UK SOx, CFOs, Chief Risk & Compliance Officers (CRCOs), heads of internal audit, financial controllers and other stakeholders in the finance function must leverage technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI-driven platforms can enhance proactive risk management by providing instant insights into spending behaviors, expenditure, cash flow forecasts, financial trends and potential policy breaches, offering real-time transparency and oversight.

AI's Role in Strengthening Risk Management for UK SOx Compliance


CFOs and business leaders can harness AI for change management to prepare for UK SOx compliance, conducting risk assessments and designing new financial controls and frameworks (using AI insights).


After the initial setup, AI facilitates ongoing governance and continuous improvement, offering real-time data, automated controls and language neutralization – especially beneficial for multi-national corporations.


AI enables self-regulating accounting systems, such as auto-reconciliation with quality checks and automated summarization of financial data, enhancing fraud detection, audit analytics and reporting efficiency.

Drawing insights from in-depth consultations with clients and key industry stakeholders, WNS has curated an AI-driven Risk and Controls Implementation Framework. This framework can serve as a foundational element for companies embarking on their UK SOx rollout journey.

WNS Risk and Controls (R&C) Implementation Framework

Figure 2: WNS AI-driven R&C Framework

UK SOx will introduce major changes not only in financial reporting but, ultimately, in how companies run their accounting and finance functions. As AI develops, forward-thinking CFOs must take advantage of this exciting, rapidly evolving technology to mitigate their risk and future-proof their businesses.

To delve deeper into WNS' AI-driven R&C Framework and how strengthening internal controls can offer numerous advantages beyond regulatory compliance, talk to our experts.

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