IT Asks Regulators for Better Communications

A group of top CIOs, led by H&R Block, says the growing cost and complexities of complying with Sarbanes-Oxley are looking for better face-to-face communications between CIOs and government regulators. See what the CIO Executive Council says you should watch for when tackling IT architectures to comply with complex regs.

Tags: CIOs, Sarbanes-Oxley, Business Processes, CIO Executive Council, Baselining, SOA, Regulators,



A group of top CIOs, led by H&R Block, says the growing cost and complexities of complying with Sarbanes-Oxley means that corporate IT execs need better face-to-face communications between CIOs and government regulators, especially the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).



The CIO Executive Council, founded last year by more than 230 CIOs across 30 different sectors, noted several IT challenges that Sarbanes-Oxley presents, including:

  • Cost of Compliance: To meet compliance deadlines, some CIOs have been forced to shift their organization's focus and budget away from other IT projects and investments;
  • Inconsistent Approaches by External Auditors: Forty-two percent of council members recently polled stated that SOA compliance auditors have not helped them comply with SOA; and
  • Uncertainty About 'Baselining': Lack of clarity about baselining (the process of establishing a "baseline" upon which management can support conclusions about the integrity of application processing and justify a more limited testing scope): In some instances, uncertainty about baselining prolonged a company's SOA implementation timeline.

  • "Our members are impacted by this regulation," said CIO Executive Council's general manager Mark Hall, who also serves as the CIO for H&R Block. As the CIO Executive Council awaits better access to SEC and other regulators, Hall noted the group isn't standing still as it is putting finishing touches on Sarbanes-Oxley "implementation guide" or "playbook" aimed to "help CIOs understand the complexities of Sarbanes-Oxley and how it impacts their role and their organization."



    Glass Half Full?
    Potential Benefits of Sarbanes-Oxley

    Sarbanes-Oxley is not all bad news for IT, the CIO Executive Council says. Among the benefits are

  • Sarbanes-Oxley creates an impetus to put necessary business processes in place that might otherwise be neglected or ignored due to competing priorities;;
  • Sarbanes-Oxley establishes metrics to evaluate how well business processes are performing; and
  • Sarbanes-Oxley provides a potential indicator of new business needs and opportunities.




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