Answerthink Launches Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Service

Supports compliance effort while improving ROI; research shows compliance costs increasing as close cycles extend, reversing long-time trend

Miami — July 7, 2004 — The strategic business and technology consulting firm Answerthink Inc. today announced a Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Service designed to meet the internal control requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley and concurrently improve business performance through the use of best practices.

Through the use of Answerthink's Best Practices Implementation (BPI) approach and tools, the firm said the service accelerates compliance efforts while allowing clients to pursue a return on their Sarbanes-Oxley investment.

The service is designed to help companies evaluate business processes, technology and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, as well as make changes to improve their ability to support internal controls required by Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Answerthink's Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Service is an extension of the company's recent work supporting Sarbanes-Oxley compliance efforts at companies in a wide range of industries, including insurance, retail, hospitality, transportation and energy

According to Hackett's 2004 Finance Book of Numbers research, spending on compliance has slowed a decade-long trend toward lower finance costs. An analysis of data from Hackett's recent finance benchmark clients found that month-end closing cycles have also increased for the first time in recent years, and it now takes 5.5 days for median companies to close their books, up from 5.2 days a year ago.

Answerthink's chairman and CEO, Ted Fernandez, commented that it is clear that most companies are making significant resource investments to respond to the requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley. "World-class companies are looking beyond compliance and are using their Sarbanes-Oxley investment as an opportunity to also create efficient internal controls environments and further optimize business processes to create competitive advantage," he said.