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Monday, May 01, 2006

Governance: Sox Technology's Second Wave

By Laton McCartney, eWEEK
As companies seek to make Sarbanes-Oxley (Sox) compliance more efficient and sustainable, they are investing in a new wave of Sox-related software, says Paul Hamerman, vice president, enterprise applications at Forrester Research.

"During the first cycle of Sox 404 compliance, companies were under time constraints and weren't familiar with the new regulations," Hamerman says, referring to a requirement that publicly traded companies identify, test and document internal controls to prevent errors or fraudulent activities that affect the accuracy of financial statements. "As a result, they had to invent something on the fly or relied on in-house tools such as Excel spreadsheets or audit tools."

These makeshift tools weren't reusable. Moreover, while they captured the necessary data needed for compliance, that information couldn't be presented in a format that was useful from a management perspective, Hamerman says.

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