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Think Sarbanes Oxley extension changes things? Think again

Think Sarbanes Oxley extension changes things? Think again

by Rick Turoczy on December 6, 2004

Some IT folks are comparing Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX) regulation compliance to the Y2K computer craze. In both cases IT departments have been overwhelmed by the complexity and costs of multiple systems changes. And with loads of other business priorities being temporarily shoved aside for companies locked in both Y2K and SOX mania, the tradeoffs have been profound.

But that’s where the similarities end. CIOs knew within minutes after midnight on Jan. 1, 2000, if all their Y2K work had paid off. In contrast, parts of the SOX legislation are so vague that 32% of IT workers and 53% of board directors, recently surveyed by Foote Partners, seriously doubt whether their companies would — or even could — have been compliant by the end of their fiscal year. The federal government has now pushed the Nov. 15, 2004, deadline to 2005. Another big difference: There will be substantial annual SOX-related compliance costs for many years to come, absent in the case of Y2K.

To shed some light on what comes next for the IT department once the SOX deadline arrives, my firm queried 197 business and IT executives and board directors, representing a cross section of public companies of various industries and sizes. Here are highlights from what we heard…

Think Sarbanes Oxley extension changes things? Think again

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