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Survey: IT, Other Execs Want Better Sarbox Tools

IT executives and finance managers are working together to meet Sarbanes-Oxley requirements, a new survey says, but want better and more efficient tools to create and manage accounting records.
Ninety percent of respondents said they believe their IT and finance departments have achieved high levels of cooperation to support the requirements, and 86 percent of respondents said that IT departments have provided the support they need to comply.

Curtis said increased collaboration is good news.

"It has pulled together the top IT and finance managers in ways that they haven't been in the past," he said in a phone interview Tuesday. "That is an intrinsic good which will have business value and benefit probably significantly beyond SOX compliance."

He also said the level of collaboration bodes well for future satisfaction with technology tools.

The survey also revealed a significant gap between what large companies actually spent on processes and improvements associated with compliance and what executives believed they spent.

Most companies spent about 1 percent of their revenues on the improvements, while a minority spent up to 2 or 3 percent, according to Curtis. Though that's not small change, Chief Information Officers and Chief Financial Officers thought they had spent about 7 percent.

Accenture plans to look more closely at that issue next year.

"When we first saw the results, we thought it might be mistake with the interpretation of survey, so we went back and looked at questions and surveyed the population again," he said.

The results were the same and indicate top managers could have a tough time figuring out what systems they need and what steps to take next.

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