SAP Builds Compliance Tools

Applications target Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

SAP AG is leading a string of developers rolling out software to let companies comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

SAP, of Walldorf, Germany, this fall will announce three pieces of software in its R/3 enterprise platform and MySAP Financials software suite for companies working on Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, said SAP officials. The company this month will enhance Audit Information System in R/3 with a new audit workbench. The feature in AIS, which is used by parties inside and outside a company to audit books, enables auditors to plan and document processes in new areas that span financials, manufacturing and sales modules. Also this month, SAP will make available a new capability in its namesake Portal software that allows whistleblowers to report company wrongdoing anonymously. It does this by mapping a whistleblowers authentication to a dummy user.

By years end, SAP will release its Management of Internal Controls solution. This provides a framework that allows developers setting up financial controls systems in MySAP Financials to map controls and processes back to the chart of accounts. Because the map is done in a framework, changes in business processes or user roles can be accommodated without rewriting the broader Sarbanes-Oxley reporting application, a SAP official said.

Users will be able to populate the framework with best practices from SAP and a leading accounting firm partner, which officials declined to name. "We make it open to take in content from all audit firms, including best practices," said Kraig Haberer, global marketing director for MySAP Financials.

Other software vendors targeting applications for Sarbanes-Oxley include InfoStep Inc. and Applix Inc. InfoStep, of Santa Clara, Calif., last week began shipping two applications, eLustroHarmony and eLustroCSA, which are a framework upon which a Sarbanes-Oxley compliance process can be built. Applix this month will release Version 8.2 of its TM1 online analytical processing engine, which officials at the Westboro, Mass., company said can be used with Applix business intelligence and business performance management offerings in compliance projects.