Stamford, Conn. (Dec. 5, 2003) -- Many companies still do not feel an overwhelming need to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which has disappointed most business service providers and information technology vendors.

A recent poll by IT researcher and consultant Meta Group Inc. found that 57 percent of these providers failed to see any substantial sales movement resulting from companies' need to become SOX compliant.

And although 97 percent of providers polled view ongoing SOX compliance as a future business driver, sales to date have been lower than anticipated.

  “It's important that the IT product vendors who are chasing the SOX rainbow take the time to develop solutions that are truly tied to compliance stipulations and requirements, not just warmed-over IT solutions in a loose SOX wrapper,” said Stan Lepeak, vice president with Meta Group's technology research services.

Meta Group also found that businesses are currently directing SOX compliance investments toward internal resources, such as analyzing regulations and documenting processes, or toward external auditors and risk management consultancies. 

The researcher estimates that internal analysis and documentation efforts account for an average of 75 percent of total SOX compliance investments.

Meta Group forecasts that IT product investments will increase in 2004, but believes SOX compliance for most companies is a business process issue and is not predominantly tied to investing in more IT applications and systems.

-- WebCPA staff

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