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IRS auditI’m always amazed by the power Oracle exerts over its customers.  It really is a testament to how Oracle technology is embedded in organizations and how complicated Oracle licensing and contracting has become.  One of the things we do at Palisade Compliance is help companies who are being audited by Oracle.  Given that tax season is upon us, I thought it would be a good time to illustrate how a tax audit would work if it followed the Oracle audit process.  So here goes, what do you think?

  • You receive an audit notification, and despite the law (your contract) saying you have 60 days to respond, the IRS (Oracle) wants to set up a meeting within a few days.
  • You get that audit letter and you don’t call your accountant/expert advisor.  You just set up a meeting with the IRS (Oracle).
  • You don’t look at any of your financial records (license contracts or usage).  You simply hand over all data requests to the IRS (Oracle) and let the IRS (Oracle) interpret it.
  • You  ask what the rules are and you are told only some of the rules are in the tax code (Oracle contract), there are plenty of additional  IRS policies (Oracle policies) that are up on the web or internal to the IRS (Oracle) and not for public viewing.  And yes, even though these web links say they are not part of the contract, the IRS (Oracle) is going to apply them as they see fit.
  • When you get that bill from the IRS (Oracle) there would be no appeal process.
  • If you do get an outside advisor then the IRS (Oracle) will tell you that you can’t have a third party help you.
  • The IRS agent  (Oracle sales rep) who can fix  it makes more money when you buy more Oracle.
  • If you don’t pay the non appealable bill from the IRS (Oracle) this quarter then [insert threat…the price is more next quarter, we will call the lawyers, your support could be shut off….]

I don’t think anyone would go into an IRS audit like this, and the IRS can throw you in jail!!!  So why do businesses follow this process when it comes to an Oracle audit?  There are many many answers to that question.  Perhaps that’s my next blog post, or a conversation over a beer.  The one common theme is that companies just don’t know they have a choice.  They follow because they think they have to.

What we do at Palisade Compliance is give clients all of their options and develop a tailored approach to each client’s needs and situation.  Palisade Compliance has run hundreds of Oracle audits, on both sides of the table, and we bring that experience to our clients. Think about your IRS audit.  Who would you want representing you in an IRS audit? You would want someone who used to work at the IRS.  Who do you want representing you in an Oracle audit? You want a team that used to work (and run) the audit and contracts departments at Oracle.

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