Instructor for this course

Entity level controls (ELCs) are often difficult to identify and even more difficult to assess.  Soft controls are similar to entity level controls. They do not lend themselves to normal validation processes.  Assessors must often utilize interviews, questionnaires and observations or other unique methods.

Other courses have looked at top-down risk assessment (RA) and discussed ELCs and some methods for assessment. This course delves further into understanding approaches to assessing the design and operating effectiveness of ELCs and soft controls.  We cover methods and alternatives to measuring and assessing ELCs and soft controls.

Learning Objectives

  • Explore Hard vs. Soft entity level controls (ELCs)
  • Recognize challenges of evaluating soft controls
  • Explore Methods for assessing soft controls and determining effectiveness
    • Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO)
    • Maturity Model
    • Cause and effect analysis
    • Questionnaires and surveys
  • Discover how to link soft controls to COSO principles and financial statement assertions
Last updated/reviewed: October 14, 2018

Included In Certifications

This course is included in the following Certification Programs:

17 CoursesSarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Certification

  1. Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) Overview
  2. SOX: Authoritative Bodies
  3. The Evolution of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Auditing Standards
  4. Information Technology in Today’s Digital World: General Controls Primer
  5. COSO 2013 Framework Requirements and Implementation Overview
  6. Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Section 404
  7. Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Section 302: Internal Controls over Financial Reporting
  8. Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Section 806, 902, 906
  9. Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX): Preparing for a Top Down Risk Assessment Part 1
  10. Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX): Executing a Top Down Risk Assessment Part 2
  11. Sarbanes Oxley (SOX): Entity Level and Soft Controls
  12. Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Identifying and Documenting Controls
  13. Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Testing
  14. Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) General Controls, Applications Controls, and Spreadsheet Controls
  15. Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Difficulty of Assessing Material Impact
  16. XBRL - Connection to SOX 302/404 and Critical Roles
  17. Tools For Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance

17 Reviews (62 ratings)Reviews

Member's Profile
Excellent description of soft vs. hard controls and the importance of having various skills to assess soft controls. The examples provided in the course were good for the subject audience as well.
Member's Profile
This course provides excellent insight with respect to soft controls - what they are, how to identify them, and various testing alternatives. The information was relevant to the current environment and was well presented.
Anonymous Author
This gave a very good definition of Entity Level and Soft Controls. It discussed the difficulty in evaluating soft controls and suggested several possible methodologies to do so, and the pros and cons of each.
Anonymous Author
Not one of my favorite courses in the series but necessary to understand the entire concepts. Course is easy to understand with examples provided to enhance the learning.
Member's Profile
I liked the MLA because it is a new area I did not know before.The stages are relatable to organizations growth cycle
Anonymous Author
This is a great course for those new to SOX concepts, or for those who have forgotten what they learned in college.
Anonymous Author
This is an excellent session demonstrating some practical tools and techniques of assessing soft controls.
Anonymous Author
This was a good course about the assessment of desing of soft controls and entity level controls.
Anonymous Author
This course was excellent and provided important information that I will utilize in the future.
Anonymous Author
Great information on the importance of soft controls and the challenges of evaluating them.
Member's Profile
This is a good assessment of soft controls by making the comparison of hard controls.
Member's Profile
Excellenct course on Soft Controls. Very detailed, useful and helpful information.
Member's Profile
Good information around the maturity models and hard vs soft controls.
Anonymous Author
This was an excellent course on Entity Level and Soft Controls.
Anonymous Author
crucial topic, though usually left without proper attention.
Member's Profile
Great presentation of course material
Member's Profile
Great Presentation


Course Complexity: Intermediate

No Advanced Preparation or Prerequisites are needed for this course. 

Education Provider Information

Illumeo, Inc., 75 East Santa Clara St., Suite 1215, San Jose, CA 95113
For more information regarding this course, including complaint and cancellation policies, please contact our offices at (408) 400- 3993 or send an e-mail to .
Course Syllabus
Introduction and Overview
  4:53Introduction to Sarbanes Oxley (SOX): Entity Level and Soft Controls
Entity Level and Soft Controls
  8:19Hard Vs. Soft Controls
  9:03Challenge of Evaluating Soft Controls
  5:17Methods for Assessing Soft Controls
  6:09Board Oversight
  6:06Hold Accountable
  10:44Model Components
  10:44Requirements - Challenges - Advantages
  10:46Surveys and Questionnaires
  2:38Course Summary
Continuous Play
  1:41:59SOX Entity level and soft controls
  PDFSlides: Entity Level and Soft Controls
  PDFEntity Level and Soft Controls Glossary/Index