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Managing Marketing: The Role Of Audits In Marketing And Advertising

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Managing Marketing is a podcast hosted by TrinityP3 Founder and Global CEO, Darren Woolley. Each podcast is a conversation with a thought-leader, professional or practitioner of marketing and communications on the issues, insights and opportunities in the marketing management category. Ideal for marketers, advertisers, media and commercial communications professionals.

Adrian Jenkins is a Chartered Accountant and the Founder and Director of Financial Progression, a global specialist audit company with a focus on marketing and advertising. He talks about the difference between benchmarking and auditing and the various types of audits Financial Progression provide to their clients. He also shares his unique approach to the audit process that is winning Financial Progression an increased number of fans around the world.

You can listen to the podcast here:

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Transcription:

Darren:

Welcome to Managing Marketing. And today we are in the chartered accountants’ hall in the city of London having a chat with Adrian Jenkins who is the founder and director of Financial Progression. Welcome, Adrian.

Adrian:

Hi, Darren, thank you very much, it’s great to be here.

Darren:

Thank you for having us at your professional club.

Adrian:

Yeah it’s quite a place, it’s not somewhere you join, but it’s something that comes with the membership of being a chartered accountant.

Darren:

Look I’m glad you raised that early because chartered accountants traditionally were those who have joined a profession of trust and integrity and that’s a very important thing doing what you are doing with Financial Progression isn’t it?

Adrian:

It is and it’s key, to be honest; it’s absolutely key to everything that we do and the foundation of the business. At the end of the day if you can’t trust your auditor, then who can you trust?

Darren:

Going to University and people were doing their PY year because they were going to become a chartered accountant, people would snigger because there is an attitude I guess that chartered accountants are synonymous with auditing but it is not exclusively auditing is it?

Adrian:

No it’s not. Particularly here in the UK, going back to the days of Monty Python there’s a view of your accountant as a man in a brown suit with a kipper tie who’s dreadfully dull and gets up and is on the 6.33 from Surbiton every morning into London, but times change. I would say it’s a fantastic business qualification to have.

A lot of people will have it instead of having an MBA for example and it gets you, when training, in to see lots of different businesses and how they work and how they should run from a financial perspective.

You’ve only got to look at large businesses, Footsie 100 companies, many more, I think it’s something like 30% of Footsie 100 CEO’s are chartered accountants, because they’ve got that background in business. Often they’ve worked in other functions as well and already have an understanding of business and how it works and what’s going on.

Darren:

But you’ve got a very particular focus and that’s the advertising and marketing industry.

Adrian:

Yes it is.

Darren:

Which is not boring.

Adrian:

Quite the opposite and it’s almost never the twain shall meet in as far as accountancy is very process driven, very structured and much but obviously not all of the advertising and marketing is not like that because it’s a creative industry. Yes of course there is process and structure within that but the types of people that work in those professions tend to have a different mindset shall we say.

Darren:

Often we hear people say you can’t really have process around creativity but we have got to remember underlying that is a business supporting it and business needs measurement, control and a process to actually make sure it stays profitable.

Adrian:

Yes, it does and I think one of the things that we do in our audits which is perhaps different to some of our competitors actually is to look at those underlying processes in the agency but also between the agency and the brand that the contract is trying to support or they are trying to support the contract depending on which way you look at it.

Often what we find both on the client and the agency side, they have not really sat down and had those conversations about process and expect things to happen by osmosis, in some cases and often a lot of it is like, ‘guys we’ve noticed these issues in your process, please as a result of this audit sit down and talk about these things because it will make you more efficient’.

It will reduce your levels of frustration. It will get your product on the market more quickly, it’s really fundamental.

Darren:

I like what you have just picked up there. I often say to people, the relationship between agencies and their clients is sometimes like the worst personal relationship where you almost have to be a mind reader to even have an understanding of what the expectations of both parties are.

Adrian:

Yes.

Darren:

And I am extending that metaphor. The contract ends up becoming like a marriage certificate. So you stand up there and make vows to each other, you sign the marriage certificate and then you file it away and forget about it for the next twenty years until the divorce comes around.

It doesn’t quite take twenty years with agencies and clients these days but I think that is quite a strong relevant metaphor.

Adrian:

Your strengthening of it there is totally apt. It is like a marriage and I’ve even had situations where we always interview the account director first day of the audit, that’s one of the first things that we do to find out how things are going.

What’s working well, what do you wish was different and then we ask to see them again, probably on the penultimate day of the audit because we’ve then had a look at a lot of information.

We have a view on things, want a bit of additional clarification and by that time you’ve normally built up a bit of a rapport with the account director.

And I remember one American lady working for an agency in Amsterdam working with a global client with complex brand marketing relationships we say across different territories that made briefing a bit of a challenge. We looked at our watches and two hours had passed and she sort of sat back and just went, ‘oh my god that was the best therapy session I have ever had.’

Darren:

(laughing)

Adrian:

So I did feel like I was giving her relationship counselling, I have to say.

Darren:

I think we have something similar except obviously the audit has a very specific process and structure and I wouldn’t mind just clarifying some things with you.

The first thing is, the industry being marketing and advertising and specifically the media component have almost bastardised the term audit haven’t they?

Adrian:

It has been.

Darren:

Because people will phone up and they go, can you do a media audit? That’s really not an audit; it’s what I call a benchmarking exercise.

Adrian:

Correct.

Darren:

How do you let people understand what an audit is and what is an audit? How does it express itself as a particular function or service that you provide?

Adrian:

Okay, so the way we describe what we do is, clients would often call it a financial audit, we would call it a contract compliance audit. So being separate and distinct from that media benchmarking exercise, which is very much looking at, what was bought often relative to some sort of benchmark, be it a pool of advertisers or a market price.

Darren:

But it is not an audit, technically it is not an audit.

Adrian:

It’s not, it’s a benchmarking exercise. So there are probably books outside this room that would tell us technically what the definition of an audit is. From our perspective it’s taking a contract and looking at the financial and the financial process elements within that.

And saying to what extent has this contract been implemented as written, in terms of charging, if we take a media example, in terms of media costs, technology costs, agency fees, tracking of time through to what I call risk management areas like, have you got the correct insurances in place. Checking all of these things that go into the contract in a commercial relationship are happening as intended.

Darren:

What sort of ways is that expressed because you hear about people doing a full audit?

Adrian:

Yes.

Darren:

And then they say production audits. What are all the different ways, there’s probably a long list but what are the main ones you would be involved in?

Adrian:

Okay, we would have typically what we would call a standard contract compliance audit, something that would happen after a year, sometimes two years of a contract running and typically when a contract is still live as it were.

We would go in and ask for literally all the billing that the client has received. And all the underlying transactions that the agency, be that the fees that they have charged and the related time records, be it the media that they have bought or the production they have commissioned , all the expenses, everything that’s basically in their books to do with that client.

We take that data, we analyse it and from that we would select a sub sample typically about 10% by value because that should give you a statistically significant sample and then go in detail all the way through.

So typically taking a campaign or a job from start to finish, right the way from brief through to cash moving. On top of that we would then look at ways of working, so we would interview the account director to try to figure out what’s working well, what could be different.

We would be looking at cash movements and working capital on the account as well. Is it favouring one party or the other, or is it broadly neutral?

We would be doing a review of the contract, not to say whether this is a good or bad contract, but just to say these are the key things in the contract that we need to look at.

And by the way against an eighty point template that we’ve got, these are the clauses that we would expect to see in your agency contract, this is missing or this isn’t very well defined.

Or it’s not clearly enough defined to avoid ambiguity. Sure enough if there is ambiguity in the contract that will come through in the numbers. So that is what I would call a full blown contract compliance audit.

We also do implementation audits.

Darren:

What are they?

Adrian:

So that would be literally right at the start, typically it‘s with a new agency client relationship and a new contract.

Darren:

So coming into the honeymoon or just out of the honeymoon?

Adrian:

So it would be still during that honeymoon period.

Darren:

Where everyone’s loved up.

Adrian:

All the vows are remembered, the party’s still fresh and the honeymoon is still fresh in the mind. So with that we would typically take the first three months’ worth of data and we would do the audit within the first six months.

Whereas a contract compliance audit might be relatively narrow and very deep, an implementation audit would be very broad and very shallow. So we are looking at all the promises if you like that the happy couple have made to each other and look to see, have those been implemented as intended.

I’ll use a media agency example, so we would take one campaign from each medium that’s running in the first three months and say, if you’ve set out a process, how’s that working? Again from brief all the way through to payment. Are there any issues with that? And if there are let’s flag it and raise it now and fix it now.

So the implementation audit is very much about, while there is still a lot of goodwill, if there are things that we haven’t implemented as we would want to, lets recognise that now, fix it now so it doesn’t fester and become a problem two years down the line.

Darren:

It’s funny because we do relationship management but with surveys and things. But the number of clients that say, oh we have just appointed the agency, why should we be thinking about this just now? And we say to them, if you do it early you can pick up potential bad behaviours that will become habits.

Adrian:

Yes.

Darren:

And they are really hesitant to do it because of that honeymoon period, ‘ oh yeah, we get on so well, I don’t want to upset the agency by bringing in a level of compliance or measure’. Do you get that pushback with implementation audits?

Adrian:

No, in fact quite the opposite, not at all. The agencies absolutely love it because believe it or not, they want to comply with the contract.

Darren:

Of course, it costs a lot of money if you don’t.

Adrian:

Exactly, they’ve just spent all this money and time pitching for the client, they want this to go well, so actually they really welcomed it. It’s a service I don’t think our competitors offer, it’s unique.

So when we go in, and we’ve never been into the same place twice yet, they are a bit suspicious, they don’t know what it is but very quickly they are like ‘this is fantastic’. To the extent that when we did it first we actually got recommended to the IPA to say this is really helpful.

Darren:

It sets the relationship up on the right foot and it means that everyone knows exactly what is expected of them and it’s been aligned up front. What’s the role of the contract in that implementation audit?

I would imagine it would be quite central because the contract should be reflecting the expectations of the other parties.

Adrian:

It’s absolutely central and critical. We write the scope of work based on that contract. The more detailed the contract the more depth we can go into. So we have one client who has five divisions. They all have their own PNL, so they all run slightly different systems and ways of working and helpfully the client can recognise that and spend the time writing out process maps from start to finish in terms of briefing all the way through the payment.

So we were then able to audit those for each division. Had the agency been able to get their heads around that level of complexity and the answer was ‘no they hadn’t’ but because you are doing it early on, no one is judging. No one is pointing a finger.

They are just saying, recognise it, it is what it is, we recognise we have done it not quite as we would like to have done, let’s fix it. From our perspective they are the nicest kind of audit to do because there is nothing contentious in there; no one is pointing the finger at anybody. It’s like, okay we haven’t done it, let’s make sure we do.

Darren:

Nothing has necessarily gone wrong; it’s more about getting alignment up front.

Adrian:

Yeah. You can say this has or hasn’t happened; you can frame it in a way that’s positive. Everyone is trying to do their best, right.

Darren:

So, you’ve got the full contract compliance, you’ve got the implementation audit, is that it?

Adrian:

We’ve got two more.

Darren:

I’m interested. You are right, that second one, I’ve not heard of anyone else offering it. Every one focuses on the full compliance audit. And the word compliance almost comes with a sense of trying to catch the agency out.

Adrian:

Yes. And there is an auditor mindset around that as well and that’s what agencies think; is this person coming to catch me out and look for mistakes and that kind of thing?

Certainly, one thing that we do and agencies tell us that we do differently is that we don’t go in with that mind set. Our mind set is very much, how can we make this agency relationship better?

Yes, we are still really thorough, in fact I know because agencies keep telling us, we have the reputation for being the most thorough but at the same time we are doing it in a way that’s saying, okay, how do we take this and turn it into a positive to make it function better in the future for both parties.

Darren:

I think that approach would make you more effective as well. I’ve noticed when an auditor comes in with the reputation of trying to catch the agency out, the agency is less disclosing, less helpful, less involved. There’s almost like a barrier that goes up which almost makes the whole relationship poisonous.

Adrian:

Completely. We had a fantastic example in Singapore last year, a creative agency, and at the end when we had the debriefing, we asked the agency for feedback- how do you find this experience?

And the FD actually said to me because of the way you handled it and because you understand our business so well, we’ve been way more open with you than we would, not just with other auditors, and even particularly so with our internal auditors, because you are working in a very collaborative way.

Darren:

Fantastic.

Adrian:

Which was a great testament.

Darren:

Two more, what are the others?

Adrian:

So, the next one is what we call, Always on Audits.

Darren:

Do you mean an agile audit because agile is the hot topic of marketing so you should call it an agile audit.

Adrian:

So this is particularly for creative agencies or agencies where there’s a lot of outside of media where there is a lot of pass through going on. And in markets where the client is typically paying most or all of the project cost based on an estimate and then there is a reconciliation done.

So in a traditional contract compliance audit whilst contractually agencies are required to do reconciliations of jobs frequently and pass money back to clients if there are under spends against those estimates. The reality is that process often doesn’t function very well so often we’ll go in at the year end or every two years and there’ll just be a whole lot of money sitting there that needs to go back.

From a marketing perspective that’s a real nightmare because let’s say there’s £100,000 to pick a number. It’s a sizable amount of money you can do an activity with and yet if it goes back after the year end, the first reaction of the finance director is that he or she is going to want to trouser that.

Darren:

Spend it or lose it.

Adrian:

Yeah exactly, so from the marketer’s project management perspective, what they want is those reconciliations to be done and ideally that money to come back in within the same financial year so that they can spend it and recycle it.

Essentially, an Always on audit is doing just that. It’s taking typically a quarterly, sometimes a six monthly look at all the reconciliations, reviewing the behind level, maybe going into detail on one perhaps two, depends on the size of the account and getting that money reconciled and back into the brand as quickly as possible.

So it’s a more frequent hands-on check.

Darren:

One of the things that has impacted this is the payment terms. As clients payment terms have shifted beyond 30 to 60 to 90 to 120 days and some of that is getting passed down the supply chain.

Adrian:

It is.

Darren:

So agencies are now trying to pay their suppliers longer and longer. It means the reconciliation can take 6 months before all the invoices are in and they’ve all been paid.

So this flow on effect from what was seen as possibly cash flow management from the client paying longer payment terms has actually had an effect on the industry and an effect on the ability of the agencies to comply with the reconciliation brought back to the client in the same financial year.

Adrian:

I think it’s really true and I would extend that 6 months even to a year because a lot of creative agencies might be working in with smaller businesses who are not quite so hot on their invoices. They might take 4 or 5 months to actually invoice something; goodness knows how they stay alive, but that’s not my issue.

So let’s say it takes 4 or 5 months and then many agencies will wait until they’ve been paid by the client before dispersing the money out because they are not a bank.

So that’s the always on audit, so the final one would be an exit audit, which is when the client and agency have decided to part ways.

Darren:

I was suddenly reminded when you said the exit audit; I used the metaphor earlier of a marriage, so that you are the divorce lawyer going through the assets of the relative spouses working out who gets what.

Adrian:

Yes, it’s basically that, going through the agency’s book to make sure that neither party, well from the client’s perspective, the agency doesn’t get a golden goodbye. So it is really making sure all those reconciliations are done. Any credit notes that have been raised have been recognised. That there aren’t any outstanding invoices or unpaid invoices.

It’s making sure everything winds down in an orderly and professional manner. So that should those parties want to do business again in the future. Let’s face it the agency world is a small world, and you might have lost an account now but actually in five years’ time things can be very different and that client might be coming back to you. It’s just to make sure everything is done.

Darren:

And if you can’t separate on good terms at least separate on professional terms.

Adrian:

Correct.

Darren:

So one of the things we’ve noticed with exits and contracts and I’d love your input here, is especially for creative or where they are producing content, a little bit with media, is that there is so much volume and so much complexity in the things that the agency’s doing, and they are creating huge amounts of assets and intellectual property.

And most contracts assign intellectual property to the client even though formally it should be piece by piece, it’s just a general blanket term, on exit we’ve had a number of times where the client has phoned us up and said they’ve been hit with a cost for transferring all of that IP and asset from the agency servers to the client or to the next agency that is taking over.

Or in the case of media, things like all the tags on all the digital display ads. That’s a huge amount of work to actually map all those and transfer them across because you could be mid campaign because they are always on. What’s your opinion about that and what’s the role of the contract in defining the terms of exit, which is quite relevant sitting here in London at the moment?

Adrian:

Exit or lexit or Brexit. It’s a really good point and reflecting on it is probably no, not probably, it is underdeveloped in most agency contracts that we see. Probably what we see is that on termination there will be a clause that says we need to agree a transition plan and we reserve the right to charge additional amounts if it’s particularly complex.

And I think it comes back to defining what could be possible as much as possible and it’s not an area that’s done well. It also depends how the agency runs itself. If the brands encourage the agency and ask the agency to work in a certain way that’s very structured, or has its own asset management system, if we are talking about assets then it should be, lift up in one agency and drop it in another agency.

If however there is a sizable amount of work that needs to take place then I don’t see an issue with the agency being remunerated to do that, as long as the parties can agree.

Darren:

A fair and reasonable.

Adrian:

A fair and reasonable, whatever that is, I don’t know what that is.

Darren:

But so many court cases have been around defining fair and reasonable in a case by case basis, so it’s great for barristers.

Adrian:

Yes.

Darren:

So now I’m interested in the competitive set. There are lots of people that do say they do audits. We’ve briefly touched on the bench markers. I think it was John Billitz that invented the term media audit for bench marking.

Adrian:

Yes, that’s right.

Darren:

Beyond the bench marking, it seems there are the big accounting firms that offer audit services and then there are some that are just set up as groups of ex agency finance directors, some are qualified accountants, some are not.

Adrian:

Yes.

Darren:

And they are offering those services. You seem to fit somewhere in between there because you’ve got industry experience and knowledge but you are actually chartered accounts.

Adrian:

Yes, and so I think we are a bit unique in that way and I think your observation is spot on. I feel we sit in the middle. I like to think we have got the best of both worlds in that we have got the regulatory oversight and you know we get audited as well by the ICAW to make sure we’re doing what we say we are doing.

Darren:

And that’s important because auditing is a very specific profession with very specific rules of practice, isn’t it?

Adrian:

International standards and guidelines. And while we don’t commit to our clients to do everything strictly against a particular guideline we do in general terms. All our processes and practises, so when we get a practise assurance visit, we do describe it as look, these are the guidelines that we follow, and this is how we’ve turned them into something that’s relevant to contract compliance.

Because what we are doing is not, although we are auditing, we are not doing a statutory audit.

Darren:

That’s a really important distinction there because statutory audits are a very specific legal requirement aren’t they?

Adrian:

Yes, and so the type of audit we do isn’t a legal requirement and so in this building it would be known as an assurance engagement where you are bringing auditing principles and standards that you would use for a statutory audit to something else, in this case a contract.

Darren:

There have been a number of agency groups and holding companies that have said as a blanket principle with their client, they will only allow a statutory audit by usually one of the big audit or accountancy firms.

Adrian:

A compliance audit by one of the big four. Yes so anyone who’s read anything I’ve put out in recent years, that’s one of my big hobby horse’s, are these big four only audit clauses.

Darren:

Cynically people have said it’s because they are very good at auditing but they actually don’t understand the industry so while they will give you an absolute tick that what was reviewed fits the guidelines, it doesn’t necessarily give you the picture does it?

Adrian:

Correct, and being a competitor in that market place, what I would say and the ICAW supports us, me in this because we have raised it with them and they wrote recently to the FD’s and the legal councils of all the big 6 holding companies, ISBURK, the IPA , WFA and the ANA to say that actually those big four only audit clauses are anti-competitive.

Its anti-competitive practice and very much frowned upon. And I think the phrase was you should appoint an auditor based on their competence rather than on their size.

Darren:

And their experience with the category as well.

Adrian:

Yes, which would be part of the competence.

Darren:

Indulge me in a small joke that I heard years ago that I like about an agency employing a new FD. The first candidate came into the agency CEO and had impeccable credentials, was a chartered accountant, presented in a beautiful suit and they did the interview. And the agency CEO said, ‘well look just one last question, what’s 2+2?’ He said, ‘well of course it’s 4’. The CEO said, ‘thanks for coming in, we’ll call you if we decide on you.’

The next person came in, not as well presented, had an accountancy degree, had worked in a few other agencies. They did the interview and at the end of it the CEO said to the candidate, ‘what’s 2+2?’ He said, ‘it could be 3 or it could be 5.’ The CEO said I like the cut of your jib, we’ll get back to you next week.

The third guy turned up late, a bit dishevelled, no qualification, had worked in agencies of all different sizes, and at the end of the interview the CEO said, ‘what’s 2+2?’ He went and opened and closed the door, he took the phone off the hook, he closed the blind, he reached down and whispered in the ear of the CEO, ‘what do you want it to be?’ The CEO said, ‘can you start tomorrow?’

Adrian:

Fantastic.

Darren:

It’s funny, I hope it’s funny but it also goes to the point of matching the competency to the job at hand.

Adrian:

Absolutely and understanding the environments in which the people are working and what might seem acceptable in one sphere, might not be seen as acceptable in another sphere as well.

So I would say we blend the two in terms of yes, we have that regulatory oversight and we also understand how agencies work and the pressures that they are under. So we have people who have worked in agencies but also quite a lot of people who have worked for brands and supporting brand marketing teams and also as media owners. So I’d like to think that our people have got a good sense of how this industry works from different angles and different perspectives.

Darren:

As you say it’s got a basic commercial foundation.

Adrian:

Yes.

Darren:

But there are nuances that would change from client to client but you are also working internationally. There must be nuances that change from market to market, or region to region?

Adrian:

There are.

Darren:

Because you’ve got international standards for audit, but just the way people do things.

Adrian:

And I think that’s right because fundamentally wherever we go in the world, people say doing an audit in China must be totally different to doing one in the US or totally different to doing one in Russia or South Africa or wherever it may be.

I would say to answer that question, fundamentally the agency business model for a media agency is the same wherever you are going to be going in the world. For a creative agency, the same wherever you are going to be going in the world and so on.

What is different are the business practices and that’s where the subtle nuances are. Let’s take media trading, that’s not an area that I guess we would get into and I would suspect that more of the nuances would happen around that area that perhaps we wouldn’t necessarily see on the accounting because the accounting increasingly is getting very international with its international accounting standards coming to the fore.

So what we tend to see is more in terms of behaviours of individuals within agencies and if there is a problem uncovered, how that might be dealt with being sensitive to cultural norms and that kind of stuff.

And I guess also seeing and observing. I think we’ve become very good as individual auditors observing body language and the behaviour of individuals that we are dealing with.

Darren:

Which is more insightful than the numbers on the page.

Adrian:

In many cases yes, because if you are asking an FD about a sensitive issue such as rebates, this is probably giving away some trade secrets but there are agency people who will listen to this, but I am absolutely looking out for body language. If I’ve got somebody who is sitting on their hands and shifting from one buttock to the other, I’m taking in that as much as what they are saying to me and what’s on the page in front of me.

Darren:

As I said before we don’t do audits but we were looking at a remuneration and I just said to a regional FD, you are getting a good price for your colour copies. And he goes, that’s my biggest profit centre, and I went, I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that.

Adrian:

Because with all these things, there are some things.

Darren:

Sorry, I’ll just clarify that because he got squeezed on every other charge, that’s why it was his profit centre.

Adrian:

It’s like any one you build a rapport with there will be things said that you pick up on. We are there for a week, we are seeing these guys and girls regularly during the course of that week and you do build a rapport with them. At the end of the day fundamentally you are rooting the contract.

So your report must be focused on what’s in that contract. Yes, there are other things that you are invariably going to pick up on. It’s down to your professionalism and discretion what you do or don’t do with that information.

Darren:

Now I have just noticed the time but I just wanted to raise the issue of SOX compliance.

Adrian:

Yes.

Darren:

It gets used as a barrier for a lot of conversations around audit and financial performance. We have to remember that SOX was introduced in the US because of a failure in the auditing process back then that we had consultants and auditors in the same company that were often conflicted in providing the sort of clarity and advice.

Adrian:

And internal controls not properly documented within businesses and not operating properly as well. So it came to a head 2002,2003 after Enron. It’s funny you should raise that because one of our global clients asked me about that last week. One of its agencies was pushing back saying we can’t do this because of SOX compliance.

Darren:

And we hear that all the time.

Adrian:

Utter nonsense, complete and utter nonsense. All SOX is doing is ensuring typically listed companies in the US have a clear and structured framework of internal control and that is then followed. That is it.

So essentially SOX compliance is, how do I run my business from a financial perspective effectively? What am I expecting to happen? So actually being SOX compliant should make it easier for an auditor to come in and understand what the processes and systems are and audit them. So if anyone ever throws up a SOX compliance, a complete and utter red herring.

Darren:

And that is exactly how it is thrown up, ‘oh we can’t do it because of SOX’. Please explain that to me’, ‘ well it’s just SOX’.

Adrian:

Exactly, it’s because they don’t understand.

Darren:

They have been told by someone down the phone, no, we can’t do that because of SOX compliance.

Adrian, it has been fantastic sitting down and having a chat.

Adrian:

Likewise.

Darren:

Final question for you before we go and that is obviously in audit if you find something that is in the agency’s favour but not compliant with the contract then the agency would need to make recompense for that. But what about if you find in an audit where you’ve been brought in by the client that there’s actually something in favour of the agency, do you think that the client should know?

Ideal for marketers, advertisers, media and commercial communications professionals, Managing Marketing is a podcast hosted by Darren Woolley. Find all the episodes here

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Darren is considered a thought leader on all aspects of marketing management. A Problem Solver, Negotiator, Founder & Global CEO of TrinityP3 - Marketing Management Consultants, founding member of the Marketing FIRST Forum and Author. He is also a Past-Chair of the Australian Marketing Institute, Ex-Medical Scientist and Ex-Creative Director. And in his spare time he sleeps. Darren's Bio Here Email: darren@trinityp3.com

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