Automated Sarbanes-Oxley Controls Assessment Debuts

Answerthink service designed to help companies evaluate how effectively they use controls capabilities in ERP systems

Answerthink service designed to help companies evaluate how effectively they use controls capabilities in ERP systems

Miami, FL  February 25, 2005  Business and technology consulting firm Answerthink has debuted an automated Sarbanes-Oxley controls assessment service designed to evaluate how effectively companies are using controls capabilities within Oracle, PeopleSoft and other enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

The service is designed to help companies lower the cost of financial controls related to Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and provides recommendations for how companies can further automate, strengthen and standardize controls.

The new service is an extension of Answerthink's existing Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Service offering, which is intended to help companies meet the internal control requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley and concurrently improve business performance through the use of proven best practices from The Hackett Group, a business advisory firm and an Answerthink company.

"Now that companies are crossing the finish line with their Year One Sarbanes-Oxley compliance efforts, they're looking for ways to do things more efficiently in Year Two and beyond," said Answerthink Managing Director Grant Fitzwilliam. "Controls automation is one area where companies can clearly focus and benefit."

Fitzwilliam said that many companies' 2004 remediation efforts resulted in adding manual controls. "Combine this with the fact that most companies use a small percentage of their ERP functionality and you have a meaningful opportunity for improvement," he added.

Answerthink created a controls library and mapped these to capabilities within various ERP systems, Fitzwilliam explained. "The result is an assessment service that, in just a few weeks, identifies areas where companies are missing opportunities to automate financial controls using their existing ERP systems. The assessment findings we offer can help most companies significantly reduce their overall Sarbanes-Oxley compliance costs."

In addition, Answerthink has created a catalogue of financial controls and designed an automated system that analyzes how these controls are being implemented in Oracle or PeopleSoft environments. Through a combination of automated tools and consulting services, Answerthink compares ERP setups and configurations to its controls library, then identifies and recommends solutions to address gaps. Answerthink is currently expanding this service offering to encompass other ERP software packages, including SAP and Lawson.

For more information on Sarbanes-Oxley, read Parts 1 and 2 of the recent series on Contract Management: Five Myths of Contract Management, and Contract Management: Improving Corporate Governance.

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