PLANTA project supports SOX standard

PLANTA project has helped Starnberg-based company MagnetMotor GmbH, a subsidiary of the US stock exchange listed company L-3 Communications, to meet the extended financial disclosure obligations that have applied since introduction of the SOX standard.

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With PLANTA project, audit-proof recording, tracking of actual hours, and ongoing planning of remaining effort in a project become possible. Project managers and executives can see at one glance how well a project is actually doing in terms of effort and deadlines and how the data is comprised – an advantage of PLANTA project praised during the SOX audit of the L-3 subsidiary.

Not all existing risk management systems meet the SOX requirements relating to appropriate internal controls. The gap-free documentation of internal controls that needs to be presented leads to considerable additional effort in the affected companies if they are not supported by powerful project management software.

The use of PLANTA project, one of the few project management systems on the market for almost 30 years, make it possible not only to meet the new requirements, but also to optimize the planning processes in the company – from strategic planning and controlling of the portfolio right through to project management. While conventional methods of cost monitoring only compare the costs planned up to a particular date (planned costs) with the costs actually incurred up to this date (actual costs), PLANTA project provides comprehensive support for the planning of remaining effort. Thanks to the Earned Value analysis, it is also possible to show the degree of completion for projects. A trend analysis and the early controlling of project progress make it possible to initiate measures in good time in order to prevent budget overruns where possible.

Earned value management is recommended as a standard method of project controlling. PLANTA project is one of the few systems on the market which has fully encompassed this method since 1999. The earned value can be calculated on the basis of completed packages of work, the values input for degree of completion in proportion to the elapsed time, or according to freely-definable fixed values for work packages which have been started or completed.

In the wake of balance sheet scandals in recent years, the aim of SOX is to better protect investors by disclosing project risks that would distort the company balance sheet if documented with gaps. This aim is to be achieved by management responsibility through to the repayment of performance-related pay in the event of incorrect annual statements that result in subsequent adjustements. Companies wary of an initial public offering on the US stock market because of the increased requirements relating to SOX should not ignore the opportunities that can be gained from a risk analysis which can also help to increase competitiveness.

L-3 Communications Magnet-Motor GmbH: L-3 Communications Magnet-Motor is a company that develops and implements new technologies in the field of electrical drives and energy technology.

Use of PLANTA software: PLANTA project is used to control product development based on customer orders. Other PLANTA components used: Customizer for customer-specific modifications.