New Wares Aid Compliance

Packages aim to ease Sarbanes-Oxley work.

A quartet of developers are making available software designed to help companies comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which covers corporate governance.

IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., last week rolled out its Lotus Workplace for Business Controls and Reporting package. It combines IBMs WebSphere Portal for integrating various applications and DB2 Content Manager, which acts as a repository for key data.

The package, due next quarter, includes KPMG LLCs business process catalogs to help companies document and improve internal controls. IBM and KPMG will offer services to help companies prepare for and deploy the software.

Separately, iManage Inc. last week rolled out its namesake WorkSite MP compliance solution, a series of templates that provide a document repository for creating an audit trail, an e-mail management system for documentation purposes, and tools for automating compliance processes and identifying exceptions. The templates, called WorkSpaces, are designed for boards of directors, auditors and executives dealing with finance. One of the WorkSpaces covers overall corporate policy, said iManage officials, in Foster City, Calif.

Also last week, OpenPages Inc. released Version 2.0 of its Sarbanes-Oxley Express software, which provides content management, workflow and collaboration capabilities to help public companies comply with the act. The upgrade adds Web-based dashboards for monitoring compliance, said officials, in Waltham, Mass.

For its part, PeopleSoft Inc., of Pleasanton, Calif., this week will roll out Internal Controls Enforcer, a module for its Financial Management for Sarbanes-Oxley suite. The module, due in the second quarter of next year, goes beyond documenting the financial controls process to give finance executives tools for diagnosing and monitoring the financial health of a company, PeopleSoft officials said.

OpenPages software user Daniel Hallihan, who welcomed improved navigation and performance in Sarbanes-Oxley Express 2.0, said his thinking on complying with the act has evolved.

"I see it as an opportunity to codify [our business processes] as an ongoing living library," said Hallihan, vice president of operations at Volt Information Services Inc., in New York. "The feedback Im getting from a lot of my accounting people [is that] they see it as an opportunity to streamline and improve the processes."