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Novell Audit and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature

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Posted: 4 May 2004

After the recent rash of accounting scandals, legislators rushed to enact new regulations to rebuild the public's shattered confidence in corporate governance. As part of this effort, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was signed into law on July 30, 2002. Sarbanes-Oxley joins the European Union Data Protection Directive, Government Information Security Reform Act and Gramm-Leach-Bliley as one of the many regulations currently confronting business organizations.

Novell has a number of technology solutions, including Novell Audit, to help our customers transform regulatory challenges and obstacles into a value-added opportunities. As an aid in understanding these issues, Novell has prepared a White Paper that discusses the business challenges -- and Novell's solutions -- to these new regulations. The following is an excerpt from the complete Paper. To read the full document, please see the link at the bottom of this page.

A Flexible Approach for Sarbanes-Oxley

Presented with its stringent information transparency and disclosure provisions, corporate leaders almost immediately expressed a deep concern over their ability to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley, particularly in the absence of the case law that will ultimately interpret and define it. What was clear, however, is the pivotal role technology will play in enabling that compliance. In fact, technology solutions are currently playing a role in accomplishing many of the intentions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. However, rather than investing in point technology solutions that address a single regulatory requirement at a particular point in time, Novell suggests a broader approach: undertake an initiative to address the common threads to all of these key business drivers.

Meeting the Challenge

Sarbanes-Oxley will remain a moving target until case law further clarifies the exact meaning of compliance. We can also expect standards within the accounting profession, in both the public and private sectors, to evolve over time, placing new and unique requirements and demands on executives and the information systems that support them.

Organizations have no choice but to comply with governmental regulations. Failure to do so has legal ramifications. However, as Figure 2 illustrates, executives can choose how they will respond. They can be:

  • Reactive. Wait until regulations are fully defined and then scramble to comply

  • Proactive. Build what they think they need, addressing point problems but running the risk of not fully anticipating the changes likely to occur in business environments

  • Strategic. Incorporate the initiatives outlined above to address both regulatory requirements and other core enterprise business drivers Secure, adaptable, process-driven information systems that produce highly accurate, real-time business and financial data are fundamental to the success of the enterprise, regardless of whether such systems are required by governing agencies. When the enterprise goal is framed as agility, the strategic choice becomes clear.

To read the full Novell White Paper that discusses the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, please see

To learn more about the Sarbanes-Oxley Act from their Web site, please see

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