Boston (April 11, 2003) - The Sarbanes-Oxley Act regulating the auditors of public companies is changing the information technology landscape for those companies, reports IT industry analysts AMR Research of Boston.

"Financial reporting is just the beginning," AMR vice president John Hagerty says in an advisory on the company's Web site, He predicts that the law "could reach back into the bowels of business operations, eventually requiring wholesale systemic change to some operational business processes and the systems that support them"

As an example of a pending shift in IT thinking, Hagerty cites the law's requirement that companies audit the technology and other systems used in the financial reporting process. "It's no longer just the numbers you report, but how you got to those numbers," he says.

Among the potential tech industry opportunities, he says, "Most existing applications lack thorough enforcement of business processes, and may be the place where a new application or IT-supported business process is required to pass muster with auditors."

The law's requirement for "timely and accurate disclosure of material events" is already prompting some companies to implement what Hagerty calls "enterprise performance management frameworks."

-- John M. Covaleski

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