Forty percent of surveyed CFOs and IT execs expect to upgrade financial systems and processes
Tempe, AZ — July 2003 — Eighty-six percent of chief financial officers and information technology executives interviewed by application software provider PeopleSoft Inc. in a recent survey about their strategies to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 said they were already engaged in evaluating or implementing a Sarbanes-Oxley project, with 56 percent planning to implement a Sarbanes-Oxley solution in the next three to six months.
The provider said more than 880 CFOs and senior IT executives participated in the survey as part of a June seminar on best practices for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance sponsored by PeopleSoft and Business Finance Magazine.
META Group analyzed the survey results, and John Van Decker, vice president, Technology Research Services, META Group, commented, "Companies are concerned that they don't have the appropriate internal controls and financial management processes in place to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley. In fact, almost 90 percent of the companies surveyed are already engaged in evaluating or implementing a Sarbanes-Oxley project, and 40 percent intend to upgrade current processes and systems in their compliance efforts."
The following survey results highlight the top compliance strategies and initiatives that companies are pursuing to meet new Sarbanes-Oxley mandates:
- Eighty-six percent of respondents were already engaged in evaluating or implementing a Sarbanes-Oxley project, with 56 percent planning to implement a Sarbanes-Oxley solution in the next three to six months.
- Seventy-one percent believe that Section 404, which requires business process audits and documentation to support internal controls certification, is the most critical part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
- Sixty-five percent will seek to use their Sarbanes-Oxley initiatives to achieve process improvements that will increase business efficiencies and competitive advantage.
- Fifty-four percent are moving forward with their Section 404 compliance initiatives, despite the SEC's May decision to extend the compliance deadline to June 15, 2004. Public companies with a fiscal year ending on or after June 15, 2004 must now include a management report on internal controls in their annual report.
- Forty percent of respondents believe that they will need to upgrade current financial processes and systems to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley. Top initiatives under consideration include: business performance management solutions; internal compliance dashboards/portals; enabling workflow; replacing/upgrading finance systems; and consolidating enterprise resource planning (ERP) instances.
"This survey illustrates just how fast businesses are moving to invest in solutions that improve compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley and increase business process efficiencies," commented Renee Lorton, senior vice president and general manager, PeopleSoft Financial Management.
For more about corporate governance and contract management, look for the Net Best Thing in the August/September 2003 issue of iSource Business.