Software from Click Commerce enables improved reporting, workflow capabilities and automated processing to achieve SOX compliance
Chicago September 15, 2003 Click Commerce Inc., a provider of partner relationship management (PRM) software, today announced applications support to help companies achieve compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002. The company said its Allegis eBusiness Suite 7.0, which offers automated workflow and advanced reporting capabilities, is designed to help customers meet the impending requirements of SOX before the June 15, 2004 deadline.
The Sarbanes-Oxley act requires chief financial officers and CEOs to personally certify and attest to the accuracy of their companies' financial results. One of the most pressing challenges for SOX compliance lies within Section 404, which requires auditors to attest to the underlying controls and processes companies use to reach financial results.
Click Commerce said companies that use indirect sales channels to drive revenue depend on a variety of processes to manage co-marketing funds, pricing, inventory and returns through the channel, and often these indirect processes are not well controlled or documented. As a result, IT executives at publicly traded companies are forced to take a hard look at what is necessary to become compliant, and could face a potential overhaul of their corporate infrastructure, software and processes.
"Essentially, most enterprises will need to establish a much higher degree of visibility into the state of marketing activities and associated funds," said Claudio Marcus, Research vice president, Gartner Inc. "This can only be accomplished by implementing formal internal controls and processes that effectively track marketing expenditures."
Companies that sell through distributors and resellers have a greater number of transactional business processes than those selling direct to end consumers, according to Click Commerce. In these environments, achieving compliance is a much more complicated task. The provider said its solutions to automate these procedures in order to help companies increase productivity and reduce the risk of fraud in critical indirect channel business processes.
"If you look at the consequences of non-compliance, there is no room for error. Accuracy, timeliness, completeness and transparency of financial reports are now essential requirements for every public company," said Michael Ferro, chairman and CEO, Click Commerce. "But, keeping track of and auditing indirect channel financials manually is difficult, time consuming, and prone to error. With the automated features of our Allegis eBusiness Suite, our customers are able to document critical processes that will help them achieve SOX compliance."
Ferro said Click Commerce's solution is a fully automated solution with such features as marketing funds management, configurable workflow, reporting, warranty management, returns management, price management, and forecasting and sales data reporting.
He explained that each of the modules addresses different financial transactions within the indirect channel, and corporations taking advantage of them can document their approval process and specific approvers. "By controlling this process, corporations can limit fraudulent behavior and speed reconciliation of legitimate claims, resulting in a fully documented channel management system," Ferro said.