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By Larry Barrett  |  Posted 2004-10-01 Print this article Print

In its race to comply with a Sarbanes-Oxley rule, Ingersoll-Rand found where it had been performing tasks twice—or not at all.

Cashing In

Meanwhile, the new government regulations have resulted in a whole new fertile field of software applications, giving companies more options and confusion to wade through.

Companies such as Open Pages, a Waltham, Mass.-based software developer that acquired pwc's icw software earlier this year, along with Cokato, Minn.-based Paisley Consulting and Axentis of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, have developed automated Sarbanes-Oxley compliance software in the hopes of cashing in on the sec's new rules.

"There are at least 98 vendors out there with some sort of automated solution," says Gartner's Leskela. "Some will just stack right on top of your financial modules or your erp, or even your supply chain software. Vendors in erp, database management and risk management are now developing compliance applications that kind of glom onto their applications."

For now, Fletcher and Ingersoll-Rand can only finish up the last round of tests to the company's internal controls and await the auditor's review, knowing this is only the first of what will soon be many Sarbanes-Oxley-related deadlines.

"The fear, obviously, is that the external auditor doesn't reach the same conclusion you have," Fletcher says. "Right now, [the regulatory guidelines for auditors] are wishy-washy. The bottom line is that if the ceo wants to rip off the company, he can and will no matter how many controls or regulations exist."

Senior Writer
Larry, of San Carlos, Calif., was a senior writer and editor at CNet, writing analysis, breaking news and opinion stories. He was technology reporter at the San Jose Business Journal from 1996-1997. He graduated with a B.A. from San Jose State University where he was also executive editor of the daily student newspaper.
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