SOURCE: Approva

July 12, 2007 11:24 ET

Approva Compliance Survey Finds Majority of Public Company Executives Believe Sarbanes-Oxley Act Has Had a Positive Impact

Respondents Also Report Increased Automation, Reduced Compliance Spending

RESTON, VA--(Marketwire - July 12, 2007) - Approva® Corporation, the leader in continuous controls monitoring and audit automation software, today announced the results of a survey of more than 245 high-level finance, internal audit and IT executives at leading public companies. According to the results of the survey (http://www.approva.net/survey), a majority of respondents, 63%, believe that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act has been successful in preventing corporate fraud. An even greater majority, 83%, believe the Sarbanes-Oxley Act has had an overall positive impact on their companies. A smaller majority, 70%, believe that investments in SOX compliance will provide benefits beyond compliance alone.

Despite industry projections regarding increasing compliance spending, survey results show that a majority (83%) of respondents plan to spend the same amount or less on compliance this year than last. Respondents also reported increases in automated compliance solutions, with 47% reporting use of a software solution to automate SOX compliance efforts. Although a majority of companies are still using manual solutions, the number of companies using automation has grown by 19% since a similar survey conducted by Approva in October of 2006.

The survey also explored respondents' awareness of and thoughts regarding recent new guidance from the SEC and PCAOB, as well as the perceived effect of Sarbanes-Oxley on corporate fraud and investor confidence.

"Five years after Sarbanes-Oxley became law, companies are able to look back and truly see what SOX has meant to their operations," said Rick Cobb, chief operating officer for Approva. "Automated controls are starting to bring costs down, as well as reduce human error, and companies across the board have really begun to realize the benefits that a comprehensive compliance program can offer to employees and to operations as a whole."

Approva Survey Key Findings

--  63% of respondents believe that SOX has been successful in preventing
    corporate fraud -- an increase of more than 15% since a similar Approva
    study was conducted in October of 2006.
    
--  52% of respondents said that their company would be spending less on
    compliance costs this year than last. 31% said they planned to spend the
    same on compliance as last year, and only 17% predicted an increase in
    spending.
    
--  51% respondents believed that SOX has increased the confidence of
    their investors, while 49% said SOX had not increased investor confidence.
    
--  83% of respondents reported following industry news related to SOX and
    recent new guidance from the SEC and PCAOB.
    
--  67% of respondents believe that new SEC and PCAOB guidance will help
    lessen SOX compliance burdens.
    
--  53% of companies are not using a software solution to automate SOX
    compliance. Of the 47% who are using software solutions, 34% report that
    between 30-50% of their controls remain manual versus automated. 55% of
    companies using software solutions report that 50% or more of their
    controls are automated.
    

Available Experts

The following experts can discuss Approva's Compliance Survey, as well as provide expert commentary on the corporate environment at the act's formation in 2002, the past five years of Sarbanes-Oxley, and predictions for the future.

--  Harvey Pitt, CEO of Kalorama Partners, former SEC chairman and
    independent board member of Approva
    As SEC chairman from 2001 to 2003, Pitt led the commission's response to
    the market disruptions resulting from the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and led
    the commission's adoption of dozens of rules in response to the corporate
    and accounting crises generated by the excesses of the 1990s. Pitt has an
    excellent perspective on what the environment was like that led to the
    creation and passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and how things have changed
    over the last five years.
    
--  Phil Livingston, Vice Chairman of Approva
    In his previous role as CEO of FEI, Livingston helped to create and pass
    the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Livingston can offer a perspective about
    the original intent around Sarbanes-Oxley as well as share first-hand
    experiences of how companies that have embraced SOX have been able to weave
    compliance into the day-to-day processes by automating controls testing and
    monitoring.
    
--  Prashanth "PV" Boccasam, CEO of Approva
    PV has an unrivaled appreciation for spotting the convergence of business
    and IT trends and conceiving how new technologies can be applied to address
    problems that are top priorities for C-Level executives, and can discuss
    the pre-SOX business landscape, as well as the day-to-day challenges that
    SOX has posed to both large and small companies.
    

A summary of the results as well as a PowerPoint presentation can be found on Audit Trail, the official blog of Approva Corporation at www.approva.net/audittrail.

About Approva

Approva® Corporation is the industry-leading provider of continuous controls monitoring and audit software. We enable business, finance, IT and audit professionals to automate the on-demand testing, closed-loop remediation and continuous, exception-based monitoring of controls within and across their business systems. Using our solutions, customers are able to significantly increase visibility into their controls, streamline the audit process, cost-effectively sustain their compliance initiatives and reduce exposure to mistakes, fraud and inefficiencies for business processes such as procurement, sales and delivery, payroll and financial close. In addition, our automated solutions act as key preventative and detective controls, further strengthening our customers' financial and operational control environments. Global companies such as Campbell Soup Company, Colgate-Palmolive, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, DirecTV, Discovery Communications, McCormick & Company, P&G, Pratt & Whitney, Siemens and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts rely on Approva BizRights® Platform and Enterprise Controls Suite to reduce compliance risk, increase operational efficiency and flag exceptions to their business controls. For more information, visit www.approva.net

Editors Note: For additional and more specific background on each of Approva's initiatives, please go to Approva's press room.

Contact Information

  • For More Information Contact:
    Matthew Langan
    DBC Public Relations for Approva
    202.298.7600 x.219
    matthew@dbcpr.com