In today’s corporate world, adhering to financial compliance is crucial to avoid expensive legal troubles. If you’re looking for the best Sarbanes-Oxley compliance certification courses, you’re thinking proactively.

But why is this so important?

The Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act of 2002 was established following the Enron scandal and plays a key role in this. It mandates greater transparency in financial reporting from large corporations. Research conducted over the past decade indicates that while this law has effectively promoted honesty in business, it has also increased operational costs.

For accounting professionals, Sarbanes-Oxley training and certification programs offer a pathway to assist companies in complying with these regulations. Completing such a course not only makes an individual a desirable candidate in a competitive job market but also paves the way for professionals to advance their careers to higher positions and salaries.

If you’re in an industry impacted by these financial reporting requirements, obtaining a SOX certification can be highly beneficial. As experts in this field, we have carefully evaluated and ranked the top SOX compliance training courses based on customer reviews. Our curated list represents the best online options available, helping you make an informed decision for your career progression.

Unique Insights, Tips, or Advice from Industry Experts and Course Participants

Expert Insight:

  • Jason M, VP of Government Compliance about Illumeo’s program: “This was a good in depth course that covers the main IT controls related to SOX.”

Other Course Participant Advice:

  • Paul N., Recent SOX Course Graduate: “The course provided relevant insight into the IT Control Environment. The information was delivered in a meaningful way and provided enough detail to explain the concept. Lynn continues to provide good courses with meaningful subject matter.”

KPG Reports about Sarbanes Oxley Compliance Certification

The KPGM annual report released this information:

  • 90% of the participants considered their SOX program to be in a matured or an evolved state
  • 88% of participants reported that their organization’s culture is supportive of the SOX program
  • 89% of the companies reported External Auditor reliance on their SOX program

#1 Illumeo SOX Certification Training

Illumeo training

Illumeo is our top recommendation due to their seamless approach to obtaining Sarbanes Oxley certification. Their Sarbanes Oxley training material is spread out over 17 courses that take roughly 30 hours to complete.

If you’re a CPA, you can use the 30 CPE credits earned to maintain your license at the same time. And if you’re already subscribed to Illumeo for your continuing professional education, you’ll get a nice discount on enrollment.

Illumeo Features

  • 17 Courses
  • 4000+ Extra Videos
  • Discounts for Subscribers
  • Instructors are Sarbanes Oxley Experts
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Exams After Each Course
  • Online and Compatible with Mobile

Illumeo Pros and Cons

  • Pro: A Linear Process – Illumeo leads students through a set of courses, each with their own exam. Once completed, you will receive your certification. It’s a stripped-down process that doesn’t require you to set a strict schedule.
  • Pro: Thousands of Additional Courses – With over 600 on-demand courses and more than 4000 video lessons, you can stick with Illumeo after learning about Sarbanes Oxley requirements to earn other certs.
  • Pro: Hundreds of Online Reviews – One of the standout advantages of Illumeo’s Sarbanes Oxley certification courses is the overwhelming number of positive reviews they have received online. For instance, a user praised the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) – Information Technology Controls course, highlighting its “excellent training with good interaction and knowledge sharing,” which is a sentiment echoed across many other reviews. This extensive positive feedback underscores the quality and effectiveness of Illumeo’s training programs.
  • Con: Subscription Model – The best deal you can get from Illumeo requires you to get a monthly subscription. This isn’t necessary if you’re only interested in SOX compliance requirements— but it can lead to even more career opportunities in financial reporting or even enterprise risk management.

Illumeo Reviews

Illumeo’s Sarbanes Oxley certification courses have garnered widespread acclaim, as evidenced by the numerous positive reviews from professionals across various industries. These reviews not only highlight the comprehensive nature of the courses but also their practical applicability in the real world. Here are some detailed reviews from members who have benefited from these courses:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Member’s Profile: Adil Shah
Position: Technology Risk Analyst at Flagstar Bank
Review: “Excellent overview for IT auditors – those with experience in the IT audit field will find this a comprehensive course on IT audit. It would be very informative for people thinking about entering the IT audit field.”

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Member’s Profile: Kathleen Wilbur
Position: IT Asset Manager at Hyundai Capital America
Review: “Clear and concise information, well organized, and with good real-life examples provided throughout the sessions. Logical order and nicely broken down by topic.”

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Anonymous Author
Position: Director, Compliance and Insurance
Review: “Excellent overview of SOX IT controls for non-IT auditors. Very informative, the presentation was efficient and engaging. Another great course by Lynn.”

Case Study: Jennifer’s Experience with Illumeo’s SOX Training

Background: Jennifer Spaulding, a SOX reporting, embarked on a journey to deepen her understanding of the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act. With a strong desire to grasp the historical context and current relevance of SOX in the corporate world, she turned to Illumeo’s comprehensive training courses.

Challenge: Despite her role, Jennifer found that comprehending the intricacies of the SOX Act, especially its evolution and the challenges it presented to publicly traded companies, was complex. She needed a resource that could provide a clear, in-depth overview of the SOX Act, from its inception to its current application, with a particular focus on identifying and addressing material misstatements.

Solution: Jennifer enrolled in Illumeo’s SOX training course, which offered a detailed exploration of the SOX Act’s various sections. The course provided a historical overview, starting from the Act’s early days when it was introduced with little guidance, to its current state. It emphasized the learning curve that legislation underwent and how it shaped corporate reporting standards.

Outcome: The training proved to be immensely beneficial for Jennifer. She appreciated the course’s focus on material misstatement, a critical aspect of her role as a SOX Reporting Manager. The course’s detailed slide on the sequence of events in the SOX Act’s history helped her connect the dots between legislative changes and their impact on corporate reporting.

One of the most significant takeaways for Jennifer was the clarity she gained on the SOX Act’s significance for publicly traded companies. The in-depth content of the training videos, which covered both the challenges and the evolution of the Act, enabled her to gain a more profound understanding of SOX compliance.

Testimonial: Reflecting on her experience, Jennifer stated, “Good overview – history to present, along with learnings that have occurred for legislation with little guidance at the beginning. Appreciate the focus on material misstatement. Love the slide on sequence of events. This training has not only enhanced my knowledge but also empowered me to manage SOX reporting at XOM with greater confidence and expertise.”

Conclusion: Jennifer’s experience with Illumeo’s SOX training highlights the course’s effectiveness in providing comprehensive, in-depth knowledge of the SOX Act. It stands as a testament to how targeted educational resources can significantly enhance the professional capabilities of individuals in specialized roles like SOX Reporting Management.

Illumeo Bottom Line

Illumeo’s Sarbanes Oxley certification courses are highly recommended for their comprehensive and practical content. Garnering positive reviews from various industry professionals, these courses offer valuable insights for both seasoned auditors and those new to the field. They stand out for their clear, engaging, and well-structured training, making them an excellent investment for enhancing skills in financial compliance and IT auditing.

#2 Management and Strategy Institute SOX Training

MSI Training - Management and Strategy Institute

Management and Strategy Institute offers something a little different for compliance requirements training. As a training provider, they offer a small library of courses at a reasonable cost. 

It’s a great way to keep your own training costs low while you learn how to help businesses prepare their own financial disclosures.

MSI Features

  • 7 Modules included
  • Free training materials included
  • Priced lower than most competitors
  • 100% Online
  • Self-Paced Course
  • Professional Certificate Received after passing final exam

MSI Pros and Cons

Pro: Pricing – For less than $200 you can receive your Sarbanes Oxley certification with MSI. This makes it one of the most budget-friendly options to quickly enhance your professional resume.

Pro: Competency Based – Instead of having to complete every single course on offer MSI allows you to take your certification exam as soon as you feel you’re ready. Take as little — or as much — time as you want!

Pro: Flexibility with Competency-Based Approach – MSI adopts a competency-based approach to its Sarbanes Oxley certification. This means that you can take the certification exam whenever you feel prepared, without the obligation to complete every course in their program. This flexibility allows you to tailor your study time according to your own pace and convenience, making it ideal for those who want to balance their learning with other professional or personal commitments.

Con: Limited Review Material While MSI offers an effective learning platform, it may not provide as comprehensive a range of review materials as some competitors, like Illumeo. This could mean that learners seeking in-depth study resources might find Illumeo’s course more suitable. However, it’s important to note that many students have still reported positive experiences with MSI’s Sarbanes Oxley certification, indicating its effectiveness and value despite this limitation.

MSI Bottom Line

The Management and Strategy Institute’s Sarbanes Oxley certification stands out for its affordability and flexible, competency-based approach. Although it offers fewer review materials than some competitors, the positive feedback from students indicates it’s a cost-effective and efficient choice for professionals seeking to enhance their expertise in financial compliance.

#3 The Knowledge Academy Sarbanes-Oxley Training

The Knowledge Academy Training Courses

The Knowledge Academy isn’t your typical academy; they mostly offer a range of SOX study materials. You get 90 days to go over about 24 hours of content, which includes case studies and exercise files related to financial reporting for publicly traded companies.

You can take an online instructor-led course from a true Sarbanes Oxley expert, an online self-paced course, or an onsite class. Additionally, you can speak with a tutor 24/7, thanks to an impressive support team. This SOX training course is even compatible with mobile devices, so you don’t have to sit on your computer to start studying.


  • 24 Hours of Content
  • 90-Day Access
  • Case Studies and Exercise Files
  • Multiple Learning Formats
  • 24/7 Tutor Support
  • Mobile Device Compatibility

Pros and Cons

Pro: Flexible Learning Formats – Our experts found that the Knowledge Academy offers multiple formats for their SOX training course, including online instructor-led, online self-paced, and onsite classes. This variety caters to different learning styles and schedules, making it accessible for a wide range of learners.

Pro: Comprehensive Support System – With 24/7 tutor support and mobile device compatibility, learners have the flexibility and assistance to study effectively at any time and from anywhere. This continuous support is especially beneficial for those who may need guidance outside of regular hours.

Con: Limited Access Duration – The course provides only 90 days of access to the materials. This time constraint might be challenging for learners who need more time to absorb complex topics or for those with busy schedules.

Con: – Potential Overload for Self-Paced Learners: For those opting for the self-paced online course, the volume of content combined with the lack of structured pacing might lead to information overload or difficulty in effectively managing their study time.

The Knowledge Academy Bottom Line

The Knowledge Academy’s Sarbanes Oxley course offers a range of content and learning formats but is constrained by a 90-day access limit and a potentially overwhelming volume of material. The absence of detailed user reviews also makes it difficult to assess the course’s real-world effectiveness. While it presents a comprehensive learning opportunity, these limitations should be weighed carefully by prospective learners.

#4 CPA Training Center SOX Compliance

CPA Training Center

Despite being at the bottom of our list, this company has an interesting approach that’s worth considering. They offer a few different courses, each of which has a special topic of focus. If you want to know more about internal auditing, this should definitely be on your radar.

There are many types of accounting jobs, so it’s nice to see the CPA Training Center account for these within their curriculum. They have Sarbanes Oxley Rules for Payroll, Fundamentals of Internal Auditing, Internal Audit School, and more. These courses can be taken live or on-demand, and all come with their own bonus handouts for additional studying. CPA Training Center also offers in-person seminars as well as online webinars so that you and those you work with can benefit from their material. 

However, there is one big drawback to this course when compared to Illumeo or our other top picks. These presentations and seminars are great at teaching you the material, but you won’t receive any kind of certificate for completing them. This may make it a bit tougher to convince potential employers that you understand internal controls and know how to write compliant financial reports.

CPA Training Center Bottom Line

CPA Training Center is a great way to get some extra help on a specific aspect of Sarbanes-Oxley. It’s not a certification course, but it can help you earn a cert from another company.

Honorable Mention: Course Hero

Unlike other courses, Course Hero has a subscription course approach to Sarbanes-Oxley Act training that differs significantly from other courses. While this grants access to an extensive library of over 40 million course materials, the lack of structure can be a drawback. The materials, including videos, study documents, and textbooks, are not organized systematically, which might lead to a scattered learning experience.

Furthermore, Course Hero relies heavily on user-generated content, encouraging students to upload their study documents. This means the quality and relevance of materials can vary greatly, depending on what other students have shared. While this offers a glimpse into the work of peers at different universities, it may not consistently meet the specific learning needs of individuals seeking structured, expert-led training in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Course Hero Bottom Line

Course Hero isn’t a standard course and shouldn’t be treated like one. If you’re confident in your self study skills or just want access to more materials, then I’d recommend giving this a try. Using it alongside another course like Illumeo could also be worth your time.

Commitment to Current Insights: Regularly Updated SOX Compliance Course Information

At AIS-CPA, we are committed to providing our readers with the most current and comprehensive information on Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance certification courses for 2024. To ensure that our content remains relevant and valuable, we regularly update our pages to reflect the latest trends, developments, and insights in the field of SOX compliance. Our team diligently monitors changes in course offerings, legislative updates, and industry best practices to bring you the most up-to-date information. This commitment to regular content updates means that professionals and students alike can trust our platform as a reliable and current resource for their SOX compliance education and career advancement needs.

Sarbanes Oxley Compliance FAQs

What is SOX compliance?

SOX is an abbreviation for the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Passed in 2002, the SOX Act was created in order to protect companies and shareholders from accounting fraud and errors. The act came about as a result of large companies like Enron and WorldCom committing and perpetuating fraud.2 The Act designates that specific records need to be kept by a company and the duration that they must be kept for.

What does a Sarbanes Oxley compliance auditor do?

The SOX auditor has the task of inspecting policies, controls, and procedures in the midst of a Section 404 audit. They are required to evaluate the internal controls and frameworks of their audits in said fiscal year for efficacy.3

Do all businesses have to be Sarbanes Oxley compliant?

Any company or business that is an accounting firm or a public company must adhere to the guidelines set forth within the Act. Despite what many believe, private businesses are also required to follow SOX— not just publicly traded companies.4

Kenneth W. Boyd is a former Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and the author of several of the popular "For Dummies" books published by John Wiley & Sons including 'CPA Exam for Dummies' and 'Cost Accounting for Dummies'.

Ken has gained a wealth of business experience through his previous employment as a CPA, Auditor, Tax Preparer and College Professor. Today, Ken continues to use those finely tuned skills to educate students as a professional writer and teacher.