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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Sarbanes-Oxley Driving Growth of Shared Services Organizations (SSO)

More companies are interested in establishing shared services organizations (SSO) to help meet the time- consuming and expensive tasks associated with compliance requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. In fact, companies that have shared services organizations say their compliance efforts were made easier and cheaper, according to a new global survey conducted by Deloitte Consulting LLP.

Eight of 10 companies among 115 global organizations surveyed by Deloitte Consulting reported SSOs made compliance easier, and nearly half said SSOs helped to reduce the cost of compliance. Shared service organizations are internal businesses created by companies to handle non-essential work of a company's business units or divisions, such as general accounting or benefits administration. The SSO provides services to each business unit, usually on a charge-back basis.

"Clearly, Sarbanes-Oxley is the primary external driver behind the surging interest in shared services organizations we have experienced recently from clients and potential clients," explains Susan Hogan, a Deloitte Consulting principal and leader of the shared services practice. "But, we've also noticed a shift in which corporations are moving from holding companies to integrated organizations, and Wall Street analysts are looking for these types of efficiencies."

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