BPM-based app automates Sarbanes-Oxley compliance

Software for automating financial controls required by the new federal regulations mandated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 is the goal of a new Supervisory Control Application (SCA) developed by Fuego Inc., a Dallas-based BPM software vendor, and Deloitte & Touche LLP based in suburban Plano, Texas.

Being marketed to retail businesses facing stricter regulation under Sarbanes-Oxley, SCA automates the compliance process but allows for human intervention where necessary, explained Scott Chamberlain, Fuego's CFO. It can help to ensure compliance in areas such as manufacturers' rebates, known in the trade as ''vendor allowances'' to retail operations, and help to provide documentation in case of audit, he explained.

This has been a problem in the retail industry, where companies have gotten into trouble for accounting practices relating to rebates. ''Vendor allowances were inappropriately accounted for,'' explained Chamberlain, ''because there wasn't any good process control, automation and enforcement of controls in place. So what Fuego and Deloitte & Touche said was let's build a solution template using the Business Process Management System to automate, manage and enforce controls around vendor allowances and vendor allowance accounting.''

The Fuego software, which is 100% Java, integrates with standard ERP systems such as SAP, and will run on any server as long as it has a Java Virtual Machine, explained Michael Celentano, solutions architect at Fuego.

''We integrate with any ERP system,'' Celentano said. ''The way Fuego does that is by looking at the API or standard exposed interface to those ERP systems and then generating automatically the connectivity code necessary to communicate to them. In the case of SAP, SAP exposes its API in a couple of different fashions, one being a Java interface and another being a COM interface, and Fuego can work with either one. In the case of the Java interface, we're able to look at the Java API and discover the methods and attributes that are part of that API, and automatically generate the code necessary to communicate to those. So as part of the process, we're able to extract data from SAP and enter data into SAP.''

Many observers see Sarbanes-Oxley driving greater use of process management software, at least in some specialized settings.

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About the Author

Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.


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