Vancouver, B.C. (July 15, 2004) -- Despite an extension in the deadline from June 15, 2004, to Nov. 15, 2004, half of large U.S. companies polled are still less than 60 percent complete in meeting their Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 filing requirements, according to a survey conducted by ACL Services Ltd. and the Center for Continuous Auditing.

Among 248 large companies (those with more than $1 billion in revenue) surveyed, half are 60 percent or less complete in their efforts to comply with Section 404, and 67 percent have no budget allocated to 404 compliance after the first deadline in November, ACL and the CCA reported. The Section 404 deadline requires that corporate management teams assess the effectiveness of internal controls.

One-quarter of respondents are only mildly confident or not confident at all in their company’s ability to maintain Section 404 compliance after the first filing deadline, according to the ACL-CCA survey.

"The results of this survey reflect the concerns we have been hearing from the audit community," says Harald Will, president and chief executive of ACL Services, a provider of business assurance analytics technology for audit and controls professionals. "They clearly demonstrate that many companies still maintain a short-term mindset when addressing the ongoing requirements set forth in Sarbanes-Oxley.”

Roughly 52 percent of respondents said that their companies use technology to perform continuous monitoring of their internal controls. Among that group, 25 percent said that monitoring activity is directly related to Section 404 compliance. Ninety-three percent of those surveyed said that continuous auditing and monitoring is either important or very important for an effective SOX 404 compliance strategy.

-- WebCPA staff

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