New York (Oct. 8, 2003) -- Big Four firm KPMG has teamed with IBM Corp. in a joint development venture - Lotus Workplace for Business Controls and Reporting -a software product designed to help companies comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Terms were not disclosed.

The tool, designed by IBM and expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2003, would marry Big Blue's software, consulting and service capabilities with KPMG's internal controls' expertise.

For its part, KPMG will offer the advisory services it provides to clients, in addition to its "control catalogs" - or knowledge databases. The catalogs describe a wide range of internal controls available to companies.

The initial solution includes a control assessment template, a development tool that runs on IBM middleware software and is compatible with the KPMG catalog. The new product also embeds capabilities from IBM WebSphere Portal and IBM DB2 Content Manager software.

Timothy Flynn, KPMG's vice chair of audit and risk-advisory services, said, "Companies are increasingly challenged to report their financial results in a clearer, faster and more cost-efficient way. At the same time, companies need to comply with a continuing flow of changing regulatory demands - and therefore need to 're-architecture' their financial reporting processes."

-- WebCPA staff

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