Software Tracks Sarbanes-Oxley Data

Software developers are busy crafting new products and partnerships to help public companies comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Software developers are busy crafting new products and partnerships to help public companies comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

IT departments in particular have taken on a significant role in the compliance end of Sarbanes-Oxley, which goes into effect over the next year and a half. Thats because it requires that companies set up systems for tracking business data relevant to financial results.

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One company, OpenPages Inc., is scheduled to release by early October a module for its content and document management software suite that aids companies in complying with provisions of the law that require chief financial officers and CEOs to certify financial results. The so-called Sarbanes-Oxley Express Section 302 module will include executive dashboards for viewing and monitoring internal and disclosure controls, said OpenPages officials, in Westford, Mass.

Volt Information Sciences Inc. is using the Section 404 module in OpenPages Sarbanes-Oxley Express to construct a content repository, said James Groberg, chief financial officer and senior vice president at Volt, in New York. The module is designed to help companies comply with Section 404 requirements of the act, which mandate that companies perform a self-assessment of risks for business processes that affect financial reporting.

"It simply gives us for the first time a consolidated library of all internal controls rather than having to go to each business unit and get that data," Groberg said. "It puts all the controls in the exact same format."

Other developers addressing Sarbanes-Oxley include Tumbleweed Communications Corp. and FaceTime Communications Inc. These companies will extend Tumbleweeds Messaging Management System e-mail firewall to capture and integrate instant messaging traffic managed by FaceTimes software. The combined offering is designed to help financial services and health care companies meet Sarbanes-Oxley requirements and other industry-specific regulations and corporate policies, officials at Tumbleweed, of Redwood City, Calif., and FaceTime, of Foster City, Calif., said.

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Separately this week, San Francisco-based Determine Software Inc. will announce that it is embedding online collaboration technology from Kubi Software Inc., of Lincoln, Mass., in its own contract management software. A motivating factor for the partnership is the requirement for companies to increase their control of supplier and trading partner relationships as part of an overall Sarbanes-Oxley compliance plan, officials of both companies said.

In addition, Artemis International Solutions Corp., of Newport Beach, Calif., last week began shipping Artemis 7, an update of its portfolio management software that provides visibility into the acquisition, development and disposition of corporate assets as required by Sarbanes-Oxley.