Companies that outsource functions important to the financial reporting process will soon be getting some new audit reports from their service providers that should make the company’s own audit a little easier.

The outsourcing of key financial functions – such as payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and others – can create a Sarbanes-Oxley headache when it comes to assuring the internal controls over those functions are sound. How can outsourcers test and audit the controls of an outside company?