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Publicly traded companies are dishing out significant dollars to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act’s strict reporting requirements. But in the expoQ webinar Using BPM To Limit Exposure Under Sarbanes-Oxley, sponsored by Fuego, industry experts described how complying with the new law could reap benefits for companies far beyond the Sarbanes-Oxley arena.

The presenters showed how complying could present opportunities to enhance overall competitive advantage, rather than be a burden. The stakes are extraordinarily high. Non-compliance could mean jail for executives. But the positive possibilities are clear, they stressed.

Deloitte & Touche Finance Transformation and Practice Leader Frank Borgsmiller explained that, “The objectives of Sarbanes-Oxley are complimentary to the objectives of most executives and organizations.”

He quipped that, “CEOs of large companies, who were once held in high regard as the captains of the industry, had come to be viewed as the Pirates of the Caribbean, and the government felt compelled to intervene” with Sarbanes-Oxley.

ebizQ Vice President for Strategic Services Beth Gold-Bernstein noted that the act requires auditors to certify not only financial statements, but financial processes. Companies are documenting processes for auditors. Those processes can span multiple systems and organizational groups, creating the need for visibility into the end-to-end process. It is necessary to automate as much as possible because, as Gold-Bernstein put it, “What you automate, won’t deviate” and hence, guarantees compliance.

Indeed, “There’s lots of focus within Sarbanes-Oxley to provide transparency, all the way back to the initial transaction,” Borgsmiller remarked.

How can companies accomplish all this? With Business Process Modeling Systems (BPMS), Gold-Bernstein pointed out. They provide process modeling, which is good for documentation and easy to change. They enable process automation. They facilitate process monitoring management, which offers end-to-end visibility and control of the process, both of which are “crucial to compliance,” Gold-Bernstein said. BPMS also involves process analytics, which Gold-Bernstein emphasized let managers see how processes can be improved, providing “significant ROI and competitive advantage.” Not only that, but BPMS creates reusable process models that can be easily verified and changed, she said.


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