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Compliance Survey: Public Companies Highlight Automation as Key to Realizing Business Value from Compliance Investment

Compliance Survey: Public Companies Highlight Automation as Key to Realizing Business Value from Compliance Investment

by Toby Lucich on October 4, 2006

Respondents Also Find Link Between Sarbanes-Oxley and Reduced Corporate Fraud

Approva® Corporation (, the leader in continuous controls monitoring and audit software, today announced the results of a survey of 200 high-level finance, internal audit and IT executives at leading public companies. According to the results of the survey (, while the majority of companies that use software to automate their controls see business value in their investment beyond Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance, most have yet to implement such a solution. Further, the survey found that many companies still manually audit a large portion of their organization’s internal controls. The survey also explored companies’ compliance technology spending plans, the adequacy of ERP controls and the perceived effect of SOX on corporate fraud and investor confidence.

“Companies today are realizing that it is in their best interest to build a well-controlled environment across their organization,” said Rick Cobb, chief operating officer for Approva. “Controls automation technology touches all departments, employees and operations and offers overarching benefits to companies which range from a reduction in audit preparation time to the near removal of human error.”

Key findings from the Approva survey include:

      – 81 percent of companies who currently use software to automate their controls predict their controls management investment will provide value beyond SOX compliance

      – 72 percent of companies do not currently use a software solution to automate the testing and monitoring of IT controls

      – 37 percent of companies surveyed say that at least 40 percent of their IT controls are still manual while 68 percent say that at least 20 percent of their IT controls are manual

      – 41 percent of companies reported that their ERP system does not do an adequate job of demonstrating compliance with audit and regulatory requirements

      – 47 percent of companies believe SOX has been successful in helping to prevent corporate fraud

      – 32 percent of companies who test more than 20 different applications believe investor confidence in their company has increased since SOX was introduced in 2002

“We are currently seeing a ‘boomerang effect’ occur with regards to corporations’ attitudes toward compliance and their interest in controls automation solutions,” said John Hagerty, vice president, AMR Research, [at a roundtable discussion in New York City, where the survey results were released]. “When the act was first passed in 2002, companies experienced ‘SOX fatigue.’ Today, companies are realizing that they must take a systematic approach to compliance and controls monitoring. Furthermore, they now understand that the solutions they need to invest in for SOX compliance can deliver solid business benefits across the entire organization.”

The complete results of the 2006 Approva Corporation Compliance Survey, including the revenue ranges of those companies surveyed is available for download at

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