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.
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).
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.
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:
"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."
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.
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