Companies Offer Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance ‘Kits’

Five North Carolina companies have joined together to create software "tool kits" to help companies comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

"The (Sarbanes-Oxley) Act will obviously have a substantial impact on public companies," said Glen Conway, a partner with Visage, a Raleigh-based consulting firm that is leading the effort. "It made sense to pool our resources to offer what amounts to a complete solution."

Along with Visage, the partnership includes four software companies that usually compete for clients, but are pooling their talents to create compliance software that is customized for individual companies, according to the Triangle Business Journal. The group, called the SingleVUE Alliance, says it is offering an inexpensive alternative to other software that can cost more than $500,000.

While the final guidelines of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act are still being ironed out, observers expect tougher scrutiny of audit committees and more detailed reviews of accounts. Christer Berg, the CEO of software company QlikTech, said the new regulations will require companies to carefully oversee both "critical accounts" and "significant events." For example, a sales account that affects a company’s bottom line would have to be tracked regularly because it has consequences for shareholders, he said.

Other proposed changes include requiring auditors to capture more information and disclose dissenting opinions of team members. Boards of directors would be forced to evaluate audit committees more stringently, the Business Journal reported.

The software companies in the partnership are Raleigh-based QlikTech, Charlotte-based Opt info, Chapel Hill-based Integrify and Litera, which is based in the Piedmont Triad community of McLeansville.

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