Hackett Provides New Business Advisory Service

Sarbanes-Oxley compliance is the focus

Sarbanes-Oxley compliance is the focus

Atlanta, GA — August 6, 2003 — The Hackett Group, an Answerthink company, this week announced a new Business Advisory Service (BAS) devoted to Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance, offering senior-level executives business advice and fact-based best practices research by Hackett's research in business functions, including Finance, Human Resources and Information Technology.

According to the global process benchmarking and best practice research firm, tThe membership-based service provides guidance from both Hackett analysts and peer companies to help companies comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

Hackett said the new Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance offering addresses the needs of chief financial officers, and is also specifically designed to help companies foster collaboration between executives in finance, HR, IT and other areas so they can establish a governance structure in support of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.

Participating companies receive access to Hackett analysts along with Hackett's monthly research publication, titled Hackett Perspective, addressing best practices in developing, executing and improving internal controls.

The firm said the service also includes Webcasts led by Hackett analysts or peer companies, plus a regular Executive Forum conference that will cover corporate governance issues in a manner designed to enable peer executives to network and learn from one another.

Participating companies have access to an online library of Sarbanes-Oxley reference materials, including case studies, presentations from Hackett analysts and content shared by participating companies.

Recently, Hackett said a representative from a top U.S. automaker led the introductory Webcast for the new Hackett Business Advisory Service, describing his company's approach to establishing and documenting the internal controls over financial and other reporting necessary to achieve compliance with the SEC's final rule implementing Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Additionally, nearly 40 publicly owned companies participated in the Webcast, including those in industries such as computers and electronics, aerospace, petroleum, chemicals and healthcare.

"We're launching our new line of business advisory services with this offering because the documentation and assessment of internal controls required by Sarbanes-Oxley has clearly become the new Y2K. It's an area of tremendous concern," commented Hackett Group President Bruce Barlag. "Companies know they have just about a year to dramatically improve and document their internal financial controls and reporting capabilities. They're also just beginning to realize that the impact of this Sarbanes-Oxley requirement goes far beyond finance and includes issues that need to be addressed by IT, HR, and other parts of their organization."

Hackett's new Sarbanes-Oxley Business Advisory Service is part of overall expansion of Hackett's offerings beyond its core competencies of benchmarking and collaborative learning. This year, Hackett said it is launching offerings that include Business Value Index benchmarks and scorecard tools, best practices certification programs for software and services vendors, strategic advisory services in enterprise resource planning optimization and other areas, and now one-on-one business advisory services.

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