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CFOs slow to react to Sarabanes-Oxley/IAS regulations

? Forty per cent of listed companies in the UK have not considered the impact of IAS regulations on their business, and over half of corporates affected by Sarbanes-Oxley have not even started their Section 404 compliance.


These conclusions from a survey by Resources Connection, a professional services firm, will raise more than a few eyebrows in the corporate world.


Fresh IAS regulations, to be enacted on January 1 2005, will affect the transparency of every corporate balance sheet, and while the deadline is over 13 months away, CFOs must prepare comparative figures for 2004.


As for Sarbanes-Oxley regulations, CFOs are signing their names on accounts every day.


But many corporates, according to the survey, are ignoring the advice about Sarbanes-Oxley compliance to their detriment. “Companies cannot continue to stick their heads in the sand. Ignoring what needs to be done won’t make the regulations go away,“ explains Ruth Hughes, a client services director at Resources Connection.


Section 404 of the Act, dealing with documentation for an organisation’s processes and systems, is causing the most difficulties; 30% of respondents said this was the most difficult aspect.


“While the Act is still quite new, there is currently significant guidance available to assist companies in applying and assessing the potential implications of these regulations,” adds Hughes.

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