The long and bumpy road to compliance

With C-SOX looming, HR has a role to play
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/04/2007

When it comes to the phasing in of Canada’s compliance legislation, many companies are still showing considerable resistance or say they are unsure about how to proceed. And so far there has been little in the way of revenues devoted to the cause. That’s according to a recently released study by Symantec, a Cupertino, Calif.-based infrastructure software firm, that found just 55 per cent of Canadian businesses are “mostly but not completely compliant” while 35 per cent are only partially compliant.

The survey of 215 companies was conducted before and after a Dec. 31, 2006, deadline for companies to report on investor protection processes they plan to implement in 2007. The deadline was just one of several that require publicly traded companies to comply with C-SOX (Canadian Sarbanes-Oxley) or Bill 198 legislation being phased in over four years.

Too many executives feel compliance legislation is a problem for prominent American companies, but financial errors reported by Nortel and RIM in Canada show that’s not quite the case, said Constantine Karbaliotis, senior compliance business specialist at Symantec’s Canadian head office in Toronto. The reality is everyone has to compete in international markets and rely on the confidence of investors.