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Are you out of control? Try automating the process

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Canon has to comply with the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act – arguably the seminal piece of internal controls legislation. There has been a lot of criticism about the cost of complying with the act but among the suggestions to reduce those costs has been greater automation of controls.

Smith said: “We want the systems to provide the controls so on a European basis you can test them once and reassure yourself that they’re working.

“Are there further opportunities to enhance that? Absolutely, and from my perspective, wherever possible, we need to automate. As soon as there’s human intervention, there’s a greater possibility for a breakdown in that control.”

He said the Sarbanes-Oxley Act touches on most of the processes within the business. “Finance is just one part of it and probably we’re more advanced with using the systems to control the process and the flows.”

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