<p>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Ref MG4080
META Group Poll Shows 90% of Companies Engaged in Sarbanes-Oxley Projects
Results From Sarbanes-Oxley Survey Released Today</p>
<p>SYDNEY, Australia, (August 22, 2003) – Sixty-five percent of polled respondents claim to be actively involved in an ongoing Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) project, while 25% are said to be planning to initiate a project in the near term, according to a META Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: METG), survey. The results announced today were based on a recent online survey of more than 100 companies regarding their efforts to meet SOX compliance.
While SOX is the major lightning rod for compliance initiatives in the US, along with HIPAA and the USA PATRIOT Act, 88% of respondents from multinational firms claim SOX projects are managed as global initiatives.
“Because of the required high level of preparation on a global scale, many firms will utilise SOX as a means of improving business efficiency, going beyond what is merely
required to comply,” said John Van Decker, META Group’s lead Sarbanes-Oxley compliance analyst and author of the survey. “We expect company leaders to initiate projects that deploy applications providing visibility/transparency, financial controls, and communications and fraud protection.”
According to 45% of surveyed respondents, CFOs are the most likely leaders to initiate SOX projects, due to their focus on financial management. Internal auditors ranked a distant second (24% of respondents). However, an overwhelming majority favor their audit partner for compliance work (59%), and this is contrary to META Group’s recommendation that a third party be used.</p>
<p>“While this may make the audit attestation process smoother, it limits the multiple views and guidance that may prove invaluable for a relatively new and untested regulatory environment,” said Van Decker. “Only 6% project that they will use a different audit vendor, and only 3% will employ a specialty compliance vendor.”
META Group also cautions the 29% that believe they can do this on their own, again pointing to the relatively untested regulatory environment and the lack of experienced resources (actually none) internally.</p>
<p>About META Group
META Group is a leading provider of information technology research, advisory services, and strategic consulting. Delivering objective and actionable guidance, META Group’s experienced analysts and consultants are trusted advisors to IT and business executives around the world. Our unique collaborative models and dedicated customer service help clients be more efficient, effective, and timely in their use of IT to achieve their business goals. Visit metagroup.com for more details on our high-value approach.</p>
<p>Rob Stirling / Kirsten Davey
<p>Peter Carr, General Manager