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Sarbanes-Oxley: BI’s big opportunity goes begging? February 19, 2006

Posted by Cyril Brookes in General, Issues in building BI reporting systems.
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With the right specification, generated with a disciplined structured workflow, BI tools can be a material component of any corporate implementation of a Sarbanes-Oxley compliant environment.

However, since the focus of almost all advertorial on the SOX compliance issue from the BI community has been on software tools, the accounting and auditing profession is taking the high ground – even though their took kit is technically inferior.

BI consultants and analysts need to realize that:

  1. The BI software tool set is tailor made for the task
  2. SOX compliance is best achieved through pro-active measures, not reactive (i.e. audit style) ones
  3. Compliance is best achieved via a high quality specification

The specification template for such a project is universal across all industries and corporate structures.  The main reporting elements are:

  • What are our business risks and their measures?
  • What is good and bad about current risk measures?
  • What are forecast risk measures and what is unusual?
  • What resources needed for detailed risk management?

I believe that a structured approach to specification will yield a set of requirements that are both efficient and effective in resolving the SOX dilemma for most enterprises. I’ll detail my thoughts in later posts.

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