Oracle Compliance App Aims to Trim Risk, Cost

As publicly held companies scramble to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, second version of Internal Controls Manager supports regional requirements and identifies risks that can accompany business processes.

Oracle Corp. on Wednesday released the second version of its Internal Controls Manager product, a software application introduced last summer to help publicly held companies meet deadlines for complying with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and other regulatory compliance initiatives.

The updated application, a part of the Oracle E-Business Suite, features capabilities designed to speed the automation of business processes and internal controls so that companies can more easily come into compliance with regulations, Oracle officials said.

New features include support for specific regional or business unit requirements when standardizing business processes. This version also can assign objectives to business processes while identifying risks that may occur as part of those objectives.

The new version includes tighter integration with Oracle Projects for better project management of audit projects. Auditors also can record their evaluations of an organizations internal controls, processes and risks.

"Were trying to make the whole compliance process less expensive and less risky," said Steve Miranda, vice president of applications development at Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle.

The update features distributed certification of financial statements and the internal and disclosure controls they rely on, allowing process owners to certify and document issues where they occur.

Aaron Sager, manager of business systems at ViaSat Inc., which has the first ICM version in production and is beginning to roll out the second version, said he considers support for such "segregation of duties" a key new feature for him since it allows for a more complete assessment of processes. Sager said he also likes this versions improved ability to show the risks of particular processes.

"ICM allows you to associate processes with risks and gives you higher-level views, what processes and risks are in certain accounts and where theyre mitigated through controls," Sager said in Carlsbad, Calif.

The software also provides users with different views based on their roles, such as audit managers or chief financial officers, he said.

Oracle has about 75 customers on ICM so far. Sager said that while other compliance offerings have similar technology, none offer the kind of built-in integration to Oracle financial and business applications that ICM does.

"Its designed to take full advantage of [Oracle E-Business Suite]," Sager said. "I dont see a whole lot of aspects theyre missing out on."

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