Companies Moving to Comply With Sarbanes-Oxley

Forty percent of surveyed CFOs and IT executives expect to upgrade their financial systems and process.

(Newstream) -- Software maker PeopleSoft Inc. has announced theresults of a new survey of CFOs and IT executives about theirstrategies to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. More than880 CFOs and senior IT executives participated in the survey aspart of a June seminar on best practices for Sarbanes-Oxleycompliance sponsored by PeopleSoft and Business FinanceMagazine. The record turnout for the seminar and the surveyfindings demonstrate that companies are moving quickly to addresscompliance, and that they are using Sarbanes-Oxley as a catalyst toupgrade finance systems and improve business processefficiencies.

META Group analyzed the survey results and John Van Decker, METAGroup's vice president of technology research services,commented: "Companies are seriously concerned that theydon't have the appropriate internal controls and financialmanagement processes in place to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley. Infact, almost 90 percent of the companies surveyed are alreadyengaged in evaluating or implementing a Sarbanes-Oxley project, and40 percent intend to upgrade current processes and systems in theircompliance efforts."

The following survey results highlight the top compliancestrategies and initiatives that companies are pursuing to meet newSarbanes-Oxley mandates:

  • Eighty-six percent of respondents were already engaged inevaluating or implementing a Sarbanes-Oxley project, with 56percent planning to implement a Sarbanes-Oxley solution in the nextthree to six months.
  • Seventy-one percent believe that Section 404, which requiresbusiness process audits and documentation to support internalcontrols certification, is the most critical part of theSarbanes-Oxley Act.
  • Sixty-five percent will seek to leverage their Sarbanes-Oxleyinitiatives to achieve process improvements that will increasebusiness efficiencies and competitive advantage. Fifty-four percentare moving forward with their Section 404 compliance initiatives,despite the SEC's May decision to extend the compliancedeadline to June 15, 2004. Public companies with a fiscal yearending on or after June 15, 2004 must now include a managementreport on internal controls in their annual report.
  • Forty percent of respondents believe that they will need toupgrade current financial processes and systems to comply withSarbanes-Oxley. Top initiatives under consideration include:business performance management solutions; internal compliancedashboards/portals; enabling workflow; replacing/upgrading financesystems; and consolidating ERP instances.

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