Apps Automate Financial Compliance Routines

Document managmeent and BPM software vendors roll out tools for complying with Sarbanes-Oxley law.

As IT departments gear up to support their companies efforts to comply with complex financial reporting rules laid out in the Sarbanes-Oxley law, a host of document management and business process management vendors are rolling out software to assist in the process.

The law, which will be phased into effect over the next nine months, requires companies to disclose in real time material changes in their financial condition and to report on how they are addressing internal controls and financial reporting procedures.

Document management software from Documentum Inc. and IBM could be used to gather the appropriate documents to create such reports, these vendors said. At the same time, BPM (business process management) software developers HandySoft Corp. and Logical Apps said their offerings could be used by companies to standardize business processes thus documenting how they are addressing financial controls.

On the BPM side, HandySoft, of Vienna, Va., later this month will announce the BizFlow Solution for Sarbanes-Oxley, a subset of its BizFlow business process workflow software designed to simplify the Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 audit procedures.

The Web-based application automates the collection of data with secure forms. Pre-built workflows lay out procedures for keeping an eye on sales, distribution and other business issues that could have a material impact on a companys finances. Integration points with popular document management systems, including Documentums, help enable real-time monitoring and reporting of results outlined in the defined business process workflows.

BizFlow Solution for Sarbanes-Oxleys Web UI presents task lists and reports to managers and other employees of a business using the software.

"Its about process enforcement and improvement," said Daryn Walters, vice president of worldwide marketing for HandySoft. "This is the urgency to get the customers to act; it is forcing them to look at their processes."