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CFOs search for long-term compliance

The SEC will be grateful to hear the conclusions of a CFO survey on Sarbanes-Oxley compliance released earlier this month. CFOs, according to the survey, are concentrating on compiling data for company performance rather than hunting for short-term solutions to coping with Sarbanes-Oxley regulations.

But US compliance will be more worried by news that two-thirds of respondents need at least three days to report any changes in corporate financing. This poses questions about the ability of corporates to meet real-time obligations for Sarbanes-Oxley reporting.

In response to a stricter compliance environment CFOs are hoping to improve internal controls and create disclosure committees - just over half say they have already improved internal controls, and the survey predicts this number will rise to 88% in 18 months.

The issue focuses on the ability of IT to successfully monitor company performance - if CFOs are prepared to invest in tracking performance it is more likely that corporates will achieve compliance in line with Sarbanes-Oxley.

The results are based on 300 interviews with CFOs from corporates with annual revenues over half a billion dollars.

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