A majority of CFOs (53%) at leading technology companies expect costs related to Sarbanes-Oxley compliance to stabilize this year, and they acknowledge that the once loathed Section 404 controls requirements have actually led to improved financial reporting processes (65%), according to BDO Seidman's 2008 Technology Outlook Survey. Just over a third (35%) said 404 curtailed innovation. "Although technology companies were hesitant to adopt Section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley, the majority have realized improved processes due to their compliance efforts and do not believe 404 has adversely impacted their level of risk-taking," said Hank Galligan, a partner in BDO Seidman's technology practice.

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Moreover, the January survey of CFOs at companies with revenues ranging from more than $100 million to $15 billion also found that most finance executives (almost 73%) didn't think that increased regulations (such as 409A and FAS 132R) "significantly" hurt the ability of their companies to attract and retain talent: Only 27% believe the changes "highly" affected their ability to hire, while 37% called the impact "moderate," and 36%, categorized it as "low."

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"At a time when regulatory organizations are pushing for more executive compensation disclosure, it is reassuring that CFOs at technology businesses are supportive of shareholders having a greater voice in approving executive compensation levels," said Andy Gibson, a partner in BDO Seidman's technology practice and co-leader of the firm's national executive compensation practice.

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