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Users must get ready for EU auditing rules

Companies must ensure that their IT systems are capable of meeting proposed new requirements for auditing rules published by the...

Companies must ensure that their IT systems are capable of meeting proposed new requirements for auditing rules published by the European Union, analyst firm Gartner has warned.

The proposed guidelines, issued last week, have similar provisions to the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and are aimed at making company accounts more transparent to shareholders.

Companies audited under the rules will have to set up an independent audit committee, which will communicate directly with external auditors and bypass company management.

The proposal, which must be approved by the European Parliament and Council of Ministers, will require IT systems to be capable of recording a detailed audit trail and responding quickly to regulations, Gartner said.

Sarbanes-Oxley, which affects all publicly listed US companies and their subsidiaries worldwide, is due to come into force from June. It will require compliance data from a range of IT systems including financial applications, e-mail and data archives.

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