With J-SOX Compliance Deadlines Approaching, Protiviti Advises Companies to Initiate Efforts Now to Avoid High Costs and Inefficiencies Later

MENLO PARK, Calif., Aug. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- For nearly 4,000 Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed Japanese companies, including their significant subsidiaries and affiliates around the world, the deadline for compliance with Japan's Financial Instruments and Exchange Law -- commonly referred to as "J-SOX" -- is looming. Compliance with J-SOX is required for fiscal years beginning on or after April 1, 2008. While this may seem to afford them enough time to establish effective compliance processes, these organizations should start the necessary work now to minimize corporate disruption, according to Protiviti Inc. Protiviti, a leading global provider of independent business and technology risk consulting and internal audit services, has been working with Japanese organizations since 2006 on their J- SOX compliance efforts and has assisted thousands of companies worldwide with Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.

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"A majority of Japanese organizations face the prospect of addressing internal control requirements for the first time and are in a quandary as to the most effective way to achieve compliance," said Paul Sachs, managing director with Protiviti. "Most did not have to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley, and those that did had to meet a different materiality threshold. Specifically, weaknesses and deficiencies that may not be viewed as material under Sarbanes-Oxley may be viewed as such under J-SOX."

Sachs, who is based in Los Angeles, and Managing Directors Nick Benvenuto (New York), Hyo Kambayashi (Tokyo) and Aki Tohyama (Los Angeles), comprise Protiviti's J-SOX compliance services senior leadership team. Well-versed in both J-SOX and U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley, they are assisting companies around the world in understanding the new compliance requirements and how the rules differ.

Adding to Sachs' comments, Benvenuto noted, "It's highly recommended that organizations affected by J-SOX initiate an assessment of current needs as early as possible, develop an approach for compliance, and check with the external auditor to ensure this approach is in alignment with the auditor's expectations."

Protiviti will discuss these and other issues during a J-SOX webinar on Tuesday, August 21, at 2:00 p.m. EDT. Sachs will present an overview of the J-SOX requirements and offer a suggested approach to compliance for foreign subsidiaries of Japanese corporations. To register for the webinar, go to www.protiviti.com/go/jsoxevents. The deadline to register is August 17, 2007.

In addition, Protiviti has just issued a Flash Report addressing questions raised in the July 18 exposure draft from the Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants (JICPA) regarding internal control over financial reporting. Protiviti's J-SOX Flash Report, which is available at www.protiviti.com/go/jsoxflashreport, reviews the JICPA's guidance and offers recommendations for management as they work with auditors on complying with J- SOX requirements.

J-SOX Compliance Services Expanded to Meet Increased Need

Protiviti, which offers its proven Compliance and Risk Management Solution to assist Japanese companies with meeting the J-SOX requirements, has recently expanded its core teams of experts who have specific J-SOX experience. In addition to Tokyo and Osaka, where Protiviti has a diversified practice that has partnered successfully with Japanese companies since 2006 to address J-SOX compliance issues, the company now has J-SOX teams deployed in most major cities in the United States as well as locations where J-SOX requirements are impacting global entities, such as Toronto, London, Amsterdam and Hong Kong. In addition, Protiviti has become the leading provider of J-SOX training and services in Tokyo and other locations in Japan.

Protiviti's J-SOX Compliance and Risk Management Solution provides a comprehensive suite of services for companies, which includes advisory and consulting services; project planning and management; documentation, evaluation, testing and remediation of risks and controls; and IT tool implementation and support. This solution can help companies:

    -- Achieve effective ongoing compliance with J-SOX
    -- Improve the speed, efficiency and quality of financial reporting
    -- Implement a sustainable process to manage compliance costs
    -- Establish effective global corporate governance.

Protiviti's J-SOX Compliance and Risk Management Solution also comes with the company's deep skills, proven methodologies and extensive experience that have assisted thousands of companies worldwide with Sarbanes-Oxley compliance efforts. This expertise has helped Protiviti become one of the world's foremost authorities on the complexities of establishing reliable internal control over financial reporting.

"Our presence in Japan and the experience we've already gained from assisting organizations with J-SOX underscores the key benefits of our global footprint and approach," said Tohyama. "Protiviti views each client's needs from a global perspective, and we are consistent in our approach and in the delivery of our frameworks and methodologies. Thus our professionals in Japan are also leveraging the key learnings garnered from Protiviti's vast experience with Sarbanes-Oxley compliance in the United States and other countries."

Proven Technology to Support Compliance Efforts

In addition, part of Protiviti's J-SOX Compliance and Risk Management Solution includes its Compliance Portal, a web-based process and knowledge management solution designed to assist organizations with improving corporate governance, complying with J-SOX requirements and enhancing business performance. The portal, which is available in both English- and Japanese- language platforms, serves as a repository for all internal control documentation, evaluation and testing, and is used by business professionals to comprehensively manage all phases of their compliance programs for J-SOX and other corporate governance regulations.

For more information about Protiviti's J-SOX Compliance and Risk Management Solution, visit www.protiviti.com.

About Protiviti

Protiviti (www.protiviti.com) is a leading provider of independent risk consulting and internal audit services. The company provides consulting and advisory services to help clients identify, assess, measure and manage financial, operational and technology-related risks encountered in their industries, and assists in the implementation of the processes and controls to enable their continued monitoring. Protiviti also offers a full spectrum of internal audit services to assist management and directors with their internal audit functions, including full outsourcing, co-sourcing, technology and tool implementation, and quality assessment and readiness reviews.

Protiviti, which has 60 locations in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE:RHI) (Symbol:RHI). Founded in 1948, Robert Half International is a member of the S&P 500 index.

Protiviti is not a law firm and is not licensed or registered as a public accounting firm. The company does not issue opinions on financial statements or offer attestation services.

Source: Protiviti

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