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PA IN THE MEDIA

Corporate response: Business should take the lead in setting standards

"Regulation is just good business. Sarbanes-Oxley, for example, was simply an opportunity for companies to do what they should have been doing some time ago."

 

CONRAD THOMPSON, IT EXPERT, PA CONSULTING GROUP

Alan CaneFinancial Times9 November 2011

 

PA’s Conrad Thompson, IT expert, is quoted in the Financial Times The Connected Business special report. Conrad gives his view on how companies should be leading a dialogue with regulators to discuss what business information can be shared, promoting industry standards.

The article asks whether organisations are condemned simply to react to regulatory changes or can they anticipate laws and put their houses in order before they are forced to do so. In response to this, Conrad says companies should be able to turn the necessity of sharing information with the outside world – which is, essentially, what regulation is all about – to their competitive advantage.

“Regulation is just good business. Sarbanes-Oxley, for example, was simply an opportunity for companies to do what they should have been doing some time ago.

“Regulators are not there to catch you out. Their role is to ask: ‘Are you running your business properly?’ Do you, in fact, have the right controls in place? The correct checks and balances? Are you dealing properly with customer complaints? These are all things that companies should be doing for themselves.”

Conrad suggests companies should be asking themselves what information they need to run their businesses properly and what parts of that information they are likely to have to disclose to a regulator. Conrad explains: “Now they are saying: ‘Our job is to set a framework which says these are things that would indicate a well run business and we will ask business to disclose that information.’”

Conrad concludes that companies should lead the dialogue with the regulators, discuss what business information can be shared and take a lead in promoting industry standards: “It’s the I in IT”.

You can read the article in full here.


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