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A recent Aberdeen report says that most value chain executives, from a mix of public and private companies polled, state that their companies are incorporating new financial reporting requirements from SOX into "larger process improvement initiatives." The report goes on to say, "Most plan to satisfy [SOX] requirements with little, if any, IT investments." This finding flies in the face of what has been widely reported by the press and claimed by many consultants and vendors: that SOX is forcing significant new IT expenditure.
IT vendors, predictably, disagree with the Aberdeen findings. Felicia M. Salomon, President and CEO of Corporate Responsibility System Technologies Ltd., says, "[SOX] requires companies to take a deep look at not only their financial reporting side but their business processes, internal controls, and employee relations," a sentiment that doesn't contradict the Aberdeen report. However, Salomon says, "This can only be achieved through a system that enables staff to own the system, allowing senior management and the board to feel confident that all has been done to comply with the letter and, more important, the spirit of the law," and implies this system most likely will need to take the form of purchased technology.
"Visualize's experience has been that [in response to corporate governance laws], there's a growing trend from executive management for investing in IT projects that help companies make quicker, more accurate business decisions," said Raveen Sharma, VP of Visualize. Sharma did not provide trend statistics. Jeanette Burriesci
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